Suggested teaching and learning methods for small groups

The below are a list of suggested teaching and learning methods (adapted from Bailey-Calcutt and Smith 2004)
/Assessment method
Briefing group
Buzz group
Case study
Discussion group
External speakers
Expert witness session
Field trip/residential
Possible assessment
Students in teams elect a leader who attends a
briefing on a team task which they must then relay
to the rest of their team.
Groups of students are given a task or topic to
discuss and feed back to the larger group.
A scenario is provided in appropriate form (written,
oral, visual etc). Groups discuss and generate
solutions, questions, responses etc.
Students prepare ‘speeches’ for or against a motion.
A formal discussion ensues via a chair person,
proponents for and against are asked to sum up and
a vote is held.
Telling or showing an ‘audience’ how a product is
made/situation handled/procedure is followed
Formalised exchange on a particular topic involving
tutors and students or student groups. Can be
captured online.
Hear from guest speakers about professional or
work related experience. Valuable link to real world
Designing and following procedures to investigate
phenomena. Often in student pairs or groups.
Groups of students prepare in advance to ask
questions of an expert. Students record expert’s
Students work on tasks in an environment external
to the university. Often group based.
One team undertakes a task or discussion while
second team observes and records their process.
Results are fed back and roles can be reversed.
Often business focussed – usually team based -to
Task outcomes /observed
process /reflection on process
Task outcomes
Group or individual outcomes
Written speeches/persuasive
speaking/effective chairing
Video evidence/live
assessment/written account
Online discussion
Laboratory report/other
written or verbal account
Written account
on expert’s responses.
Reports/reflections on
personal development
Written analysis of
observation/reflection on
team dynamics/etc.
A variety of products as
Group presentations
Incident process
In-tray exercise
Individual project
Learning contracts
Personal reflective
Problem based learning
Role play
Academic Tutorial
simulate a business task (e.g. create an marketing
campaign) over a period of time.
A group of students are given a task and a time slot
to make a presentation or ‘pitch’. Careful
management and setting of rules to ensure
appropriate participation of all members.
The basic facts of an incident are outlined and the
individual or group of students must decide what
further questions to ask or what information they
need to find.
Materials are provided to students in a situation
that simulates a working environment. The
individual or group must respond to the materials
(often time-constrained)
Requires student to: define own question, outcome
or area of enquiry; design a process appropriate to
question/outcome/area of enquiry; report and
conclude as appropriate.
Individual or group based contract of learning or
action usually negotiated with tutor. Outlines task,
roles, responsibilities to be completed with
Journal/diary/blog written by students to identify,
record or evaluate events and associated learning.
Students (usually groups) given a problem in their
subject area. There are usually a number of possible
solutions, not a ‘right’ answer. Process and product
are important.
Student are given relevant information and a role
and asked to play the role. A facilitator manages the
1:1 or small group meetings with a tutor. These
usually have an aspect of personal academic
progress – career development or skills progress.
outcomes/reflection on
performance/team dynamics
Live presentation/written
supporting material –
handouts or background
information/reflection on
Written or oral account of
information needs.
Outcomes of exercise, written
or oral as appropriate
Written, presentation, oral or
visual formats. May also
include planning documents,
interim outcomes; reflection
on final outcome.
Action plan; reflective writing.
Written oral or visual form of
Product/solution. Reflective
account of the process used to
get to the /product solution
Video record. Reflective
Measures of engagement.
Work-based assignment
Student undertake an assignment in the work place
either as part of a placement or as FT or PT
Written, oral or visual
outcomes. Reflective account.
Bailey-Calcutt, A and Smith, J 2004. Developing Student employability Skills: A staff development pack to support curriculum development. Salford