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Misha Miller

Using Groups Effectively: 10 Principles » Edurati Review - 50 views

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    "Conversation is key . Sawyer succinctly explains this principle: "Conversation leads to flow, and flow leads to creativity." When having students work in groups, consider what will spark rich conversation. The original researcher on flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, found that rich conversation precedes and ignites flow more than any other activity.1 Tasks that require (or force) interaction lead to richer collaborative conceptualization. Set a clear but open-ended goal . Groups produce the richest ideas when they have a goal that will focus their interaction but also has fluid enough boundaries to allow for creativity. This is a challenge we often overlook. As teachers, we often have an idea of what a group's final product should look like (or sound like, or…). If we put students into groups to produce a predetermined outcome, we prevent creative thinking from finding an entry point. Try not announcing time limits. As teachers we often use a time limit as a "motivator" that we hope will keep group work focused. In reality, this may be a major detractor from quality group work. Deadlines, according to Sawyer, tend to impede flow and produce lower quality results. Groups produce their best work in low-pressure situations. Without a need to "keep one eye on the clock," the group's focus can be fully given to the task. Do not appoint a group "leader." In research studies, supervisors, or group leaders, tend to subvert flow unless they participate as an equal, listening and allowing the group's thoughts and decisions to guide the interaction. Keep it small. Groups with the minimum number of members that are needed to accomplish a task are more efficient and effective. Consider weaving together individual and group work. For additive tasks-tasks in whicha group is expectedtoproduce a list, adding one idea to another-research suggests that better results develop
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