5 Benefits to Group Learning
There is a debate about different learning styles in education, such as group learning. Are there small group learning benefits? Whether they be study groups, school assemblies, or team building there are some questions as to the advantages of group learning activities. Some swear that one on one is the best but, perhaps they are all tools for the education of students. That there is no one solution and they instead all work for different people.
Group learning has been extensively studied. Many of the benefits have been documented in scientific research. So have other styles of teaching. So, let's examine 5 of the known benefits of group learning.
When a student is working on their own they have only their mind to rely on. This isn't a bad thing in and of itself but, if a student is fixated on a problem they don't understand they may be too embarrassed to ask for help from a teacher. One of the benefits of small group learning is the ability to speak with your peers for help.
Another way group learning activities helps to reduce anxiety is that the focus isn't solely on them or on the material. They are engaged in what they are doing and part of a team. The attention is spread but no so much as to a student being ignored. The student ultimately worries less because they can focus on what they need to learn without feeling the pressure of the spotlight.
Develop Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is, essentially, the inner drive to do. How group learning does that is by mutually inspiring students to achieve. It's one thing to study and learn because a teacher told you to. It's quite another to work on something with your peers to meet a goal. It's even something more when students can get lost in group learning activities. They forget they are learning and become motivated by each other to complete the task.
Developing intrinsic motivation carries onto everything else in life. It's a great way to keep students motivated and tends to come about in group learning.
Deeper Understanding of Material
Being able to discuss material, debate it, or even approach in a new way is all part of group learning. Part of group learning activities is that each student gets to hear about or experience how another learns. Helping to see problems and solutions in ways they wouldn't have thought about otherwise. Forces all those participating to engage in finding a solution or to understand the material.
When a student can look at what they're learning in new ways, they will consider the rest of the material in new ways. Group learning is interactive and carries into solo work.
You may be thinking that with all this talk about discussion and group learning activities that a con to it is lack of individual accountability. You're quite wrong! Group learning can use students' preoccupation for peer pressure into a positive.
When students get into a group, the naturally push each other. Unfortunately, not always into the best thing. If a group learning activity can have them push each other into learning or achieving, then maybe that'll carry on into other social interactions.
Group learning is fun! Students get excited about being able to work together or going to a school assembly. They'll want to get things done together and learn, it means hanging out as well to them. The plus for you, it'll be easier to teach them and for them to be teaching each other. Double win.
Another instance of proactive collaboration and is also group learning, the school assembly. There are usually thought of as passive entertainment or a way to make large announcements but, Academic Entertainment offers school assemblies that are learning events. Click here to read about how group learning activities like school assemblies are particularly beneficial:
Group Learning Benefits
- Let's summarize 5 of the known benefits to group learning activities:
- Reduces Anxiety: Takes the spotlight off the student
- Deeper Intrinsic Motivation: The inner drive to learn
- Deeper Understanding of Material: Thinking about the lesson in new ways.
- Individual Accountability: Students driving each other rather than peer pressuring in a negative way.
- Proactive Collaboration: Students will want to learn and go to the school assembly.
- As you can see, while many types of learning work for different students group learning is just as effective as the rest.