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Small Group Activities

Focus Points: Student Discussion – Tutorial with Matt

In this tutorial Matt structures a short small group activity in order to hear directly from students about the previous week’s lecture material.  Notice how Matt sets the context for the activity, structures the small groups [2’s and 3’s] and provides students with clear expectation of what’s required of them. Just ensure that you provide students with very clear time parameters.

Many tutors start off with a quick recap of lecture or tutorial material so it’s important to elicit first from students before coming in. A small group activity such as this one is an efficient way of eliciting important information and getting a sense of where students are at. Notice the level of engagement as students discuss in pairs. Providing students with an opportunity to talk with each other first generally increases the level of output when attempting to get discussion with the whole group.

At the close of the activity, Matt brings the group back together and asks for their input. As students provide various key aspects of the lecture, Matt paraphrases their response to ensure that he’s heard correctly, and jots down any key words on the whiteboard along the way.

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