Small group and discussion techniques
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Small group and discussion techniques. NFTEP/GSTEP Nov. 12. Overview of the session. Pros/cons of small group/discussion formats Preventing/managing discussion problems Grading discussion Pros/cons of group projects Preventing problems and grading group projects

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Overview of the session l.jpg
Overview of the session

  • Pros/cons of small group/discussion formats

  • Preventing/managing discussion problems

  • Grading discussion

  • Pros/cons of group projects

  • Preventing problems and grading group projects

  • Recap of some discussion techniques used in the session


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Pros/cons of discussion

  • Please take out a piece of paper, and divide into two columns. This writing will be shared.

  • In one column, list pros for discussion techniques. Why should we use them, what learning goals are they good for?

  • In the other, list cons of discussion techniques. What problems arise in their use, what learning goals are they not well-suited for?


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Pros of discussion/small group techniques and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Intellectual ownership of ideas

  • Shows class preparedness

  • Better engagement, more active

  • Peer learning


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Cons of discussion/small group techniques and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Students may share inaccurate info

  • Hard to grade– what did they learn from this?

  • Students may not be prepared

  • Naturally quiet students don’t participate– but others may dominate

  • Side conversations


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Some common problems with discussions and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Students unprepared

  • Some students dominate the conversation; Some students don’t talk

  • Discussions of controversial topics get out of hand, become emotional/rude

  • Students may share inaccurate info

  • Hard to grade– what did they learn from this?

  • Naturally quiet students don’t participate– but others may dominate

  • Side conversations


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Preventing/managing discussion problems and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Please count off by (how many problems did we list?)

  • Please form small groups and discuss method you have seen teachers use for preventing/managing the discussion problem that matches your number.

  • Be prepared to share techniques, and your evaluations of these, with the rest of the class.


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Strategies for dealing with… and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.


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YES and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

Reward effort

Encourages participation

Validates the oral mode and students as knowers

Encourages attendance

Allow dif methods of getting points

NO

Hard to do

Individual diffs in particip style

Language barriers

SHOULD we grade discussion?


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IF you choose to grade discussion… and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Count off by 4s.

  • Each of you please pick up a handout with your number on it. Study the grading technique, so that you can teach it to your group.


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  • Form groups that contain a 1, a 2, a 3, and a 4. and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Each of you teach your group about your grading technique.

  • The group should try to come to a consensus about which technique they think is best, and be prepared to share their conclusion with the whole class.


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Pros and cons of group projects and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • Please take out a piece of paper. Free-write for a few minutes about pros and/or cons of group projects. Why do teachers assign group projects? Why do students hate them? What do teachers hate about group projects? What do students like about them?

  • These will be shared, but anonymously.


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Pros of group projects and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.


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Cons of group projects and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.


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Some common problems with group projects and try to compose a non-redundant list of pros/cons from the four of you.

  • How should we compose the groups?

  • Students “divide and conquer” rather than really collaborating

  • One student gets stuck doing all the work, and the others take the credit


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Please spend a couple of minutes free-writing about methods of handling problems with group projects. What conclusions do YOU draw from this discussion?


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Recap of discussion techniques used in the session methods of handling problems with group projects. What conclusions do YOU draw from this discussion?

  • Think/pair/share/snowball reporting

  • Small groups on DIFFERENT questions, report back to class.

  • Whole class brainstorming

  • Individuals are jigsaw parts of the group puzzle. Note: when small groups worked on different questions, the whole class was a “jigsaw.”

  • Silent discussion, “low tech chatroom”

  • Whole class open-ended discussion, followed by individual reflection/summary.


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