Sophie Sparrow (NH School of Law) spoke on the topic: Harnessing the Power of Small Group Learning. Below are my rough notes from the presentation.
- Greet teammates – tell something about yourself that teammates don’t know
- 3+guidelines for team performance
- Active listening
- All participate, no one dominates
- One leader
- Group activity 1- Main reason students dislike group work? “Free riders”
- Do team-based learning in class
- 5-7 people is ideal size for a team
- Random selection- no self-selecting
- Group activity 2 – Key factor that facilitates group effectiveness? Group & ind. accountability
- Team can assess individual performance
- Higher order thinking – must collaborate – shorter piece of work
- Group activity 3 – How long to become effective teams? 6-7 weeks
- Have to get to know each other, get engaged in group work
- Video – Group work simulation – “The Loafer” (on YouTube)
- Group activity 4 – Reason for team dysfunction? Team avoids conflict
- Do some team activities first
- Then discuss team interactions
- Then show the video
- Group activity 5 – Reason for students to give & get peer feedback? Team become a more powerful learning unit
- Show students the guidelines first
- Students may not realize how they are perceived
- Give peer feedback
- Team guidelines
- What made team effective
- What would improve team effectiveness
- With group work, Everyone participates…Learning is improved!!
- Group work always outshines individual work.
- Discussion is where the learning occurs!!
- Team of 5-7 allows for diversity and collective wisdom.
Best assignment/task for groups: 4 S’s
Role of the teacher:
- Not “the sage on the stage”
- Must come up with complex problems
- “Teaching with your mouth shut”
- Have students move around in the room (in large classes)
- Ask for feedback midway through the course – what is working, what is not
So how does TECHNOLOGY fit in Small Group Learning???
- The group product could be in the form of a PPT slideshow, a concept map, video…
- The group could create wiki.
- The group could meet virtually through an online chat.
- The group could collaborate through discussion forums, emails, etc.
- Research required would be done through Internet searches, legal databases, etc.
For other research by Sophie Sparrow, click HERE.