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Small group teaching

About this topic

Small group teaching involves learning and teaching sessions with small groups of students.

There is no “ideal” number of students, as this depends on the activity to be undertaken. However, group sizes between 3-10 students are typically considered effective in most situations; with small group teaching approaches still possible in larger classes by simply dividing the students into smaller groups.

One of the most important aspects of small group teaching is that it is student-centred, promotes student engagement, involves active learning and that the educator acts more as a facilitator to the students learning. Therefore, discussion, dialogue and collaboration between staff and students is fundamental to effective small group learning.

At Cardiff University a diverse range of small group teaching methods are implemented as effective approaches to learning and teaching. These include, but are not limited to; tutorials, seminars, problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning and workshops, all of which can be delivered directly or online.

This topic presents examples of how small group teaching provides a dynamic and interactive environment for students to construct their learning, in addition to providing the opportunity for students to obtain immediate formative feedback from both their peers and tutor.


Case Studies

Breaking the Silence - Facilitating interactive, synchronous sessions

Caroline Almond

Published 21 Jul 2021 • 7 mins read

This Pecha Kucha presentation from the 2021 Learning & Teaching Conference shares effective strategies Caroline has used to engage active class discussion in synchronous online sessions.


Topics

Ways of learning | Designing for distance learners | Delivering blended programmes | Small group teaching | Large group teaching |

Recommendations icon1 recommendations

Transformation to “Experiential Learning”, a case study

Dr Vicki Stevenson

Published 01 Jan 1970 • 7 minutes read

Dr Vicki Stevenson, of Cardiff University's Welsh School of Architecture presents at the 2019 Learning & Teaching Conference, hosted by the CESI, a case study on: Transformation to “Experiential Learning”


Topics

Ways of learning | Flipping the classroom | Facilitating group work | Small group teaching | Large group teaching | Delivering lectures |

Recommendations icon0 recommendations

How to save a museum: teaching business models to historians

Rifhat Qureshi and Graham Getheridge

Published 16 Jan 2020 • 18 mins read

In this video, Rifhat Qureshi and Graham Getheridge talk of a collaboration between the School of History, Archaeology and Religion and the Enterprise & Start-up Team. Together they developed an interactive workshop to demonstrate the importance of


Topics

Ways of learning | Learning journeys | Small group teaching |

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Modern learning environments and large group teaching in Physiotherapy

Jill Morgan

Published 13 Mar 2019 • 6 minutes read

Video case study from Jill Morgan from the School of Healthcare Sciences describing how she's been able to transform how she delivers large group teaching within the new flexible lecture theatre in the School


Topics

Facilitating group work | Small group teaching | Large group teaching | Delivering lectures |

Recommendations icon3 recommendations

This presentation from the 2021 Learning & Teaching Conference gives an overview of #DryLabsRealScience, a collaborative network established in direct response to the challenge of laboratory teaching online, allowing the sharing of best practice and


Topics

Ways of learning | Designing for distance learners | Facilitating group work | Small group teaching |

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This presentation from the 2021 Learning & Teaching Conference discusses how COVID restrictions limited ‘hands-on’ practical activities, and how they had to respond quickly to design interactive, engaging, and meaningful replacements that could


Topics

Ways of learning | Designing for distance learners | Delivering blended programmes | Small group teaching |

Recommendations icon0 recommendations

Cardiff Resources

Lesson Planning Guidance

Dr Iain Mossman

Published 20 Apr 2017 • 10 mins read

A downloadable visual guide on how to design and plan a lesson.


Topics

Ways of learning | Small group teaching | Large group teaching |

Recommendations icon6 recommendations

An on-line support resource for PGRs new to the teaching role

Dr Kate Exley

Published 20 Apr 2017 • 20 mins read

This resource aims to help postgraduate research students gain confidence, knowledge and skills in their new teaching role.


Topics

Small group teaching | Large group teaching | Providing feedback |

Recommendations icon0 recommendations

Online Content Curation Tools Technology Reviews

Dr Duncan Cole and Dr Richard Jones

Published 14 Jan 2019 • 30 mins read

This resource reviews a range of the most well-known platforms and piloted and assessed them as support tools for use in higher education.


Topics

Facilitating group work | Small group teaching | Large group teaching |

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Best Practice in Online Content Curation in Higher Education

Dr Duncan Cole & Dr Richard Jones

Published 18 Jan 2019 • 30 mins read

This best practice document aims to provide advice on how to get the most from using a curation platform, and indeed identifying whether a curation platform is right for the job you have in mind. We present this as a series of key consideration with


Topics

Facilitating group work | Small group teaching | Large group teaching |

Recommendations icon2 recommendations

Small group teaching: Methods & Techniques

Dr Nathan Roberts

Published 19 Apr 2017 • 10 mins read

Different methods facilitate different kinds of student engagement and opportunities to learn.


Topics

Small group teaching

Recommendations icon16 recommendations

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