ORIC Small group teaching


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ORIC Small group teaching

  1. 1. Small-Group Teaching<br />Inclusive Curriculum Design<br />
  2. 2. By the end of this session, you will have:<br />identified and discussed characteristics of small group teaching, within your own subject;<br />identified some common problems associated with small-group teaching and evaluated some potential tutor interventions.<br />Session learning outcomes<br />
  3. 3. Introduction & Context<br />Disciplinary Contexts<br />Problems in small-group teaching<br />Teaching through discussion<br />Review<br />Session overview<br />
  4. 4. Issues of students working in groups together on assessed tasks, and theories of group formation, team roles etc.<br />but see http://www.learnhighergroupwork.com/<br />What we are specifically not engaging with in this session…<br />
  5. 5. Types/’genres’ include:<br /> ‘tutorials’, ‘seminars’, ‘labs’, ‘fieldwork’, ‘online discussion groups’, Problem-based learning (PBL) groups, action learning sets, workshops, syndicates…<br />Sizes of ‘small’ groups can vary considerably<br />Purpose and role may vary considerably<br />Small Group Teaching - Context<br />
  6. 6. In comparison to large-group teaching, small group teaching offers more opportunity for interaction and engagement:<br />tutor-student interaction<br />student-student interaction<br />Learning in a social context<br />Context – educational role<br />
  7. 7. Favoured for developing higher order attributes:<br />Problem solving<br />Critical thinking<br />Self-Awareness<br />‘Functioning’ rather than ‘Declarative’ knowledge (Biggs & Tang, 2007)<br />Particularly through:<br />Discussion<br />Practical application<br />Relation to real-world events & experiences<br />Context - educational role<br />
  8. 8. Size of group<br />Location, room, layout, furniture, equipment<br />Characteristics and diversity of group<br />Resource & staffing issues to address<br />Contextual factors<br />
  9. 9. We will divide into table groups roughly organised by discipline/school/professional area<br />Suggested: <br />EDT & Technology<br />Social Science & Humanities<br />Management<br /> Life Sciences<br /> ‘Other SLED/LSS/SU’<br />Disciplinary contexts<br />
  10. 10. In those groups<br />Discuss and list the variety of small-group teaching contexts in your areas<br />Within these different contexts are there typical ‘ways of practicing’? If so, what are they? <br />Are you aware of an examples of what you would consider to be innovative small-group teaching practice in your work contexts?<br />What are the typical issues or challenges associated with small-group teaching in your context?<br />Disciplinary contexts<br />
  11. 11. Feedback from each group & opportunities for questions<br />Disciplinary context <br />
  12. 12. teacher lectures rather than conducts discussion<br />teacher talks too much<br />difficult encouraging students to talk<br />discussion limited to responses to tutor questions<br />if preparation is required, student don’t do it<br />one student too dominant/ too quiet<br />student focus is on solutions/answers more than complexity<br />Problems in Small-Group Teaching (Ramsden, 2003: 149)<br />
  13. 13. Teaching & Learning Through Critical Discussion (Garrison & Archer, 2000)<br />Allows students to listen, integrate new ideas, critique.<br />Discussion phases:<br />Early – identifying issues<br />Middle – searching for resolution<br />Late – evaluating conclusions<br />
  14. 14. Discussion develops higher thinking skills, in an environment where students can relate to interests and experiences - links ‘cognitive’ and ‘affective’ learning outcomes<br />“A distinct shift from the excessively teacher-centred approach often associated with the lecture.”<br />Critical Discussion (Garrison & Archer, 2000)<br />
  15. 15. Jaques(2000) identifies three main purposes of small group teaching:<br />Organisation of thinking, comparing ideas and interpretations with each other, forming understanding of a subject.<br />Extrinsic training opportunities: team building, oral skills, negotiating, persuading and so on.<br />Monitoring of own study; gaining self-directedness and independence from tutors.<br />Inclusive learning and teaching in small groups<br />
  16. 16. Do you think there are other purposes?<br />What is the balance of priorities in this for you?<br />How does this relate to issues of inclusion for all students?<br />What are the most likely areas of difficulty for teaching diverse groups?<br />How can you positively use differences in your groups to enrich the experience for all?<br />Inclusivity in small groups<br />
  17. 17. Ensuring student integration and identity.<br />Encouraging intercultural competence (diminishes cultural/racial/gender stereotyping etc).<br />Develops student self-directedness (creating learners that can explore concepts more fully, find their own material, develop their own critical stance, etc). (Grace and Gravestock, 2009)<br />How small group teaching can be inclusive<br />
  18. 18. What do I want my students to learn in this session?<br />What learning outcomes will I therefore write?<br />What activities will I use to achieve these ends?<br />How will this relate to assessment?<br />How does this fit into the overall scheme of the programme for the students?<br />Some considerations on planning inclusive small group sessions:<br />
  19. 19. Do I know who my students are?<br />How large/small is the group?<br />How long do I have to run the session?<br />What restrictions are imposed by the physical space?<br />What resources do I need to run the session?<br />Some considerations cont.<br />
  20. 20. Is my plan for the session suitable for all students in the group?<br />Do I need to make any contingency/alternative arrangement for any member of the the group?<br />Are there any formal requirements that I need to adhere to (evaluation of session etc.) (adapted from Grace and Gravestock, 2009).<br />Some considerations cont.<br />
  21. 21. e.g. Race, 2007: 151-154<br />Rounds<br />Buzz groups<br />Snowballing<br />Pyramiding<br />Fishbowls<br />Brainstorming<br />Pair Dialogues<br />Leave the room<br />(See Habeshaw, Habeshaw, and Gibbs, 1984)<br />Techniques for promoting interaction<br />
  22. 22. “At this point it is usual to provide a list of recipes designed to overcome these familiar difficulties. There are many effective techniques…But none of them will succeed for long unless you clearly understand the reasons for the problems. Just for now, forget about detailed solutions: think about what effective teaching consists of and how you would try to implement its prescriptions…”<br />Solutions to the problems? (Ramsden, 2003: 149-151) <br />
  23. 23. Follow-up on resources around large & small group teaching.<br />Think about what ‘effective teaching’ might be in these different contexts.<br />Are there some common principles for effective teaching (e.g. Ramsden, 2003: 93-99)<br />Looking ahead to next learning set <br />
  24. 24. Biggs and Tang (2007: 105):<br /> “It helps to think of lectures and tutorials as situations, in which a range of teaching/learning activities can take place, rather than prescriptions for a manner of teaching.”<br />Review<br />
  25. 25. Biggs. J. and Tang, C (2007) Teaching for Quality Learning at University, Third Edition, Maidenhead, Open University Press.<br />Garrison, D.R. & Archer, W. (2000) A Transactional Perspective on Teaching and Learning, Oxford, Pergamon.<br />Grace, S. and Gravestock, P. (2009) Inclusion and Diversity. Routledge. London. <br />Jaques, D. (2000) Small Group Teaching http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/2_learntch/small-group/index.html<br />Race, P. (2007) The Lecturer’s Toolkit, Third Edition, London & New York, Routledge.<br />Ramsden, P. (2003) Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Second Edition, London & New York, RoutledgeFalmer.<br />References<br />