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Faculty Development

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Self-Assessment Activities

Select one or more of the activities below to develop your skills in working with small groups.

If you are registered on the site, you can write up your reflections in the ‘reflections area’. Click on the ‘my area’ link at the top of the page to access your personal pages. Please note that you must be logged in to do this.

1 The impact of group size

One of the factors that makes a group a ‘small group’ is its size. But a small group can range from two or three people to 30 or so. Over the next week or two, looking at your own teaching groups or as a participant in meetings or other small group situations, pay particular attention to considering how the size of a group impacts on:

  • the group dynamic
  • the activities a group participate in
  • how the leader or teacher copes with the size of the group
  • how the size of the group affects possible learning outcomes or outputs.

Note some of the things that you would have done differently (techniques, structure, room layout, teacher-centredness versus learner-centredness, etc.).

List some changes that you will make to your teaching practice.

2 Trying new activities and techniques

This activity asks you to try out some new activities and techniques when you are running your next small group teaching session.

Take one or two activities or techniques that you have never tried before to introduce into your lesson plan. Choose activities that are appropriate to the task and group process, and that you think will encourage more discussion and engagement with learning.

Test these out on one or two occasions.

Reflect on how they worked in practice.

  • Did these activities help to make the learning more effective?
  • Did it make your teaching more difficult? 
  • What were the key practical effects on the teaching?

Review your teaching practice and plan how you will change your teaching to incorporate the learning from this activity.

3 Questioning techniques

The section on Questioning and facilitation offers some ideas on different sorts of questioning techniques. Some or all of these may be familiar to you, but in this activity think about how you could improve your questioning techniques:

(a) to encourage participation and deeper reflection and thinking from individual learners and

(b) to encourage and promote group discussion.

Take some time to reflect on how using the questioning and facilitation strategies and ideas worked for you.

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t?
  • What further information or learning do you need?
  • What did the students or trainees think?