Facilitating small groups: how to encourage student learning.

Kitchen, Mark (2012) Facilitating small groups: how to encourage student learning. The clinical teacher, 9 (1). pp. 3-8. ISSN 1743-498X.

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-...



Many clinicians are involved in medical education, with small group teaching (SGT) forming a significant part of their work. Most facilitate these sessions by experience and common sense: less than one-third of them have received formal training in SGT.


Evidence suggests small group productivity depends on good facilitation rather than on topic knowledge. Applying the fundamental concepts of SGT will lead to improvements in the quality of clinicians' teaching and in student learning. Good SGT creates the perfect environment for learning and discussion, without the need for didactic teaching. SGT emphasises the role of students in sharing and discussing their ideas in a safe learning environment, without domination by the tutor.


This article provides clinicians with basic requirements for effective session design and planning, explains how to encourage student participation, how to manage students as a group, how to manage student learning, and how to recognise and deal with problems.


Active facilitation and group management is the key to success in SGT, and consequently better learning outcomes. Improving the facilitation skills of clinical teachers makes teaching more effective, stimulating, and enjoyable for both tutors and students.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WB Practice of medicine
Divisions: Emergency Services > Acute Medicine and AMU
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Depositing User: Mrs Caroline Tranter
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2014 13:53
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2014 13:53
URI: http://www.repository.uhblibrary.co.uk/id/eprint/508

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