Learning through Groups and Teams

Method Objectives & Summary

Learning Through Groups and Teams is a collaborative effort for the common goal that involves “changing opinions, attitudes, and beliefs.”  It creates “understanding from an awareness of multiple perspectives, deals with feelings, cultivates empathy.” (p.177).  In many ways, “Groups are best used when there is some need to explore multiple attitudes, feelings, and perspectives on a topic, or when a team outcome needs to be greater than the sum of individual efforts.” (p. 208).  Some of the most prominent tactics in this learning method include:

  • Cooperative Learning: students learn together to find the correct or best solution to a given problem during the course period

  • Collaborative Learning: students are paired together to stimulate dissent and disagreement to be able to gain new perspectives with the teacher being part of the learning community

  • Team-based Learning: students develop content knowledge, its application and team skills

  • Problem-based Learning Teams: Students are able to identify the important data in the material, leveraging problem-solving as a way of learning

Method Application

Team Building activities are probably the most obvious and prominent use of learning through groups and teams.  At the center of the activity, a team is often presented with a common goal.  In the process, teams are able to depend on each other’s strengths, compensate for weaknesses and work together to achieve as a high performing team

References

Davis & Arend (2013), Facilitating Seven Ways of Learning (pgs. 177, 208), Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development (p. 21).

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