Learning in groups: a handbook for face-to-face and online environments

Jaques, David and Salmon, Gilly (2007) Learning in groups: a handbook for face-to-face and online environments. Routledge, Oxford, United Kingdom. ISBN 0415365260 (pbk.); 0415365279 (hardback)

Abstract

Increasingly over the last two decades, learning in small groups has become a regular part of student experience whether in the seminar room, the laboratory, in independent groups, in online form or even in the lecture theatre. Though not always given a central role, group discussion, whether faceto-face, purely electronic or a blend of the two, has a critical role to play in the all-round education of students. This is not merely on the grounds of economy with larger numbers but through a rapidly expanding recognition of the nature and levels of learning that take place through active participation in group processes. Group interaction allows students to negotiate meanings, to express themselves in the language of the subject and to establish a more intimate and dialectical contact with academic and teaching staff than more formal methods permit. It also develops the more instrumental skills of listening, careful reading, presenting ideas (both in speech or in writing), persuading, and teamwork, all qualities attractive to employers with their greater expectations of the graduates’ ability to communicate; and this is further underlined by the high standards set by radio and television which make for more critical audiences. But perhaps most importantly, group discussion can or should give students the chance to monitor their own learning and thus gain a degree of self-direction and independence of the tutors in their studies. All these purposes are of excellent pedigree. Yet often they are not realised to a satisfactory level and both tutors and students may end up with a sense of frustration. Leading a successful group discussion, on or offline, does not always come naturally to many otherwise gifted tutors who may too readily fall back on a reserve position of authority, expert and prime talker. Brown and Atkins (1999) report research evidence that the mean proportion of time tutors spent talking in discussion groups was 64 per cent and could reach 86 per cent. Ramsden (2003) describes the ‘thoroughly predictable outcomes’ of traditional group discussion as a theory of teaching which assumes the mode of telling and transmission as its basis. The development of skills in group leadership, for both face-to-face and online situations are a constant theme throughout the book.


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Item Type: Book (Commonwealth Reporting Category A)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Hardcopy held at USQ Library (Shelf Number: 378.1795 JAQ) and an electronic copy is also available
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 00:19
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 00:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: online learning; groups; group discussion; communication; group leadership
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18915

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