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Small Group Activities

Focus Points: Setting up of ‘world café/ speed dialogue’ group activity – Tutorial with Carson

Carson moves on to a group activity and elicits students’ understanding of the process. Carson waits for a reasonable period. When she is met with silence, she gives lots of clues. When a student responds, she uses the student’s name and thanks her, which helps create rapport. Carson follows up the question, acknowledging the various responses and building on them by asking further questions such as “Why?” and “Anything else?”. The acknowledgement of student responses is very important. Students need to feel that their contributions are valued. This can be done very simply as Carson demonstrates: “Right”, “OK”, “You’ve pretty much got that”. The other great thing Carson does is summarise the students’ responses. This not only validates the student, it reinforces the knowledge for the whole class.

Carson then provides instructions for setting up the groups. She encourages students to get to know one another by asking them to form groups with people they haven’t spoken to that day. She uses a small activity to select the facilitators as otherwise the more confident or dominant students assume that role every time.

Carson provides guidance for the facilitators in terms of scribing and asks the facilitators about their roles, extending on their answers by asking further questions and adding her own suggestions.

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