Group Learning is an inevitable part of todays Education System, it may not always be the most efficient, but if done correctly, can be very beneficial for students. Group Learning enhances Flexible Learning, gives students more opportunities for feedback, inspires confidence in students, and helps build collaborative skills.
Why Small Group Learning is Beneficial for students
- Flexible LearningOne advantage of learning in small groups is that almost every factor of it is flexible, its location, progress, depth of discussion, and many factors can be altered to fit the groups need. In small group discussions, it becomes more obvious of which students are struggling on certain topics. If there are one or two students who struggle with a certain topic, then different exercises can be given to the group to enhance discussion in said topic, or if necessary, you can talk to them individually for better explanation.
- More Opportunities for FeedbackStudents often choose not to participate in class discussions, and there can be many reasons for this. In small groups where the teacher does not monitor the discussion, the atmosphere becomes informal and students become more open to talk in discussions (even if it is just a moderate amount!), allowing them to give and receive more feedback from their peers.
- Inspiring ConfidenceHigh school students struggle a lot with self confidence at their age, making it very normal to have little to no class discussion on a regular basis. However, in smaller groups, this issue tends to be less prevalent. In these discussions, teachers or tutors can lead students into discussion and give them the encouragement they need to participate! Regardless of whether or not their opinion contributes greatly or moderately to the discussion, it is important to acknowledge what they have said.
- Build Collaborative SkillsSmall group learning can be a great start for building teamwork skills. It is very likely that students in a class have diverse backgrounds and personalities; some students may like teamwork from day one, and others may dread it, regardless of their likings for it, group work is an essential part of learning and even in the workforce, so it is important for students to be comfortable with collaborating with others.
Small Group Learning can be very effective in a classroom setting, and can be applied to in many courses. However, like most things, it should be done in a controlled amount. In small groups, there could be a lack of diversity due to the small number of pupils, hence the ideas that are explored may be less than the ideas explored in a large group. Changing between large group and small group learning can overall be very beneficial for students.