Group learning, also known as collaborative learning, proves to be more effective than individual learning, especially for students in middle and high schools. During a group learning session, students can discuss a subject/topic among themselves, which helps in sharpening their understanding of the subject/topic. Research has revealed that group learning helps students score high in exams. So being a teacher, you should encourage your students to work together on any subject or assignment.
At first, all you need to do is to divide your students into groups. While forming the groups, make sure that you do not put bench mates or best friends in the same group. Instead, divide students in such a way that each group has a unique combination in terms of learning styles, personalities and temperaments. Following this, you should assign tasks and ensure that they have a clear understanding of your expectations.
However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Initially, it will be difficult for a teacher to involve his/her students in the group learning activity. Sometimes, students may be clueless about how to start working or learning in a group. Here are a few tips that a teacher can follow to get his/her students work/learn together.
Provide a topic for discussion
To initiate the process of group learning, first assign each group a topic for discussion. Some topics can be like how to remember complicated formulas of mathematics, how to remember historical dates, among others. Encourage each group member to participate in the discussion and give his/her opinion. This way, you can show group members how to learn/work together in a group.
Develop group integrity
The integrity of a group plays a significant role in making the group learning process effective. To develop integrity among group members, the teacher can conduct various group activities. For example, the teacher can give each group a problem to solve within 5 minutes. While participating in this activity, every group member will agree on a solution, which will ultimately enable group members to know how to reach a consensus on any matter/subject.
Encourage collaboration among group members
One of the major objectives of group learning is to enable each group member to improve his/her weak area (s) with the help of other group members. The onus is mainly on teachers to make group members understand this aspect of group learning. A teacher can encourage a student to share his/her weak or problematic area (s) with other group members so that they can guide him/her to improve the area (s).
Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net