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Leading Group Discussions. David M. Irby, PhD University of California San Francisco. Preview. Total Group Discussion (30 min) Introduction PICS Model P review, I nvolvement of all, C ontent covered, and S ummary Small Group Jigsaw (90 min) Lesson planning in chapter groups (30 min)

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Leading Group Discussions

David M. Irby, PhD

University of California

San Francisco

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  • Total Group Discussion (30 min)

    • Introduction

    • PICS Model

      • Preview, Involvement of all, Content covered, and Summary

  • Small Group Jigsaw (90 min)

    • Lesson planning in chapter groups (30 min)

    • Discussion of each chapter in small groups (60 min)

  • Total group discussion (30 min)

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Most Common Pitfalls

  • Leader talks too much

  • Fails to involve everyone

  • Fails to introduce self or preview session

  • Doesn’t make progress through content

  • No summary or conclusion

  • Doesn’t share self and think aloud

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Why use Discussion?

  • Increases motivation and persistence in learning

  • Improves learning outcomes because learners must

    • Articulate what they know and don’t know

    • Challenge their own assumptions

    • Connect and consolidate ideas

  • Increases communication skills

  • More likely to change values

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PICS Model





Teacher enthusiasm, support and challenge

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  • Introduce self and topic

  • Provide rationale and capture attention

  • Preview session, state objectives and set expectations for participation

  • Establish positive learning climate

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  • Promote active participation and stimulate thinking

    • Ask questions, pose problems, ask for questions

    • Give in-class assignments, questionnaires, tasks, problems to solve

    • Divide students into groups to do assignments

  • Exhibit enthusiasm

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  • Focus and progress through main ideas

    • Direct and pace discussion

      • Plan each each section of the discussion and estimate time

      • Put each section and timeframe on board

    • Use visuals to capture ideas (scribe)

    • Summarize periodically

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  • Summarize key points and provide closure

  • Bridge to larger course and/or next session

  • Review learning issues and make assignments

  • Share feedback on session

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Review of PICS Model

  • Preview: Introduce self and preview session

  • Involvement: Actively involveall learners

  • Content: Ensure timely progress through content

  • Summary: Summarize key ideas

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Jigsaw Process

  • Advanced preparation - divided individual responsibility

  • Three-part classroom process

    • Chapter specific small group discussion – (share and revise lesson plans)

    • Cross chapter small group discussion – (teach your chapter to others and get feedback)

    • Total group discussion – (what did we learn?)

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Part I (chapter groups)

  • Share lesson plans and ensure that you follow the PICS format (no lecturing):

    • Preview and set expectations

    • Involve everyone

    • Cover content and manage time

    • Summarize key points

  • Revise your lesson plan

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Part II (cross-chapter groups)

  • Lead a discussion on each chapter for 12 minutes each

  • Give feedback on experience (specific strengths and recommendations) for 3 minutes

    • Preview?

    • Involvement of all?

    • Content covered?

    • Summary?

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Part III (total group discussion)

  • What did you learn from this experience?

  • What surprised you?

  • What questions do you have?

  • What specific techniques will you use in your teaching?

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  • Careful organization (preview, organized content, summary) and active involvement enhances learning

  • Your enthusiasm will inspire learning and increase persistence in learning

  • Have fun.

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PICS Discussion Model

  • Preview

  • Involvement of all

  • Content covered

  • Summary

  • Facilitator: enthusiastic, supportive and challenging?