|Resource 83: Collaborative Learning Technique (CoLT) 2 Buzz Groups|
Useful for stimulating engagement in discussions and, and encouraging students to rehearse, express, and compare their ideas, opinions, and/or reactions with others.
Estimated Time and Effort Required for
Faculty to prepare this CoLT LOW
Students to use this CoLT LOW
Faculty to assess/follow up LOW
Risk of Failure LOW
Duration & Location 10-20 minutes/In class or online
Group Size & Structure Triads to Quintets Informal/Little or no pre-organizing
Buzz groups give students the opportunity to exchange ideas, opinions, and information in a low stress environment. Because buzz groups can build interest in and enthusiasm for a subject, they are useful in introducing a new topic and in assessing studentsí prior knowledge or beliefs about that topic. Buzz Groups can also serve as in-class lead ins to out-of-class assignments.
1. The instructor prepares a list of open-ended discussion questions that will tap studentsí ideas, prior knowledge, or opinions about the topic at hand. These should be questions for which there is no one correct answer.
2. In the context of a semi-structured, time-limited conversation, small groups of students discuss their responses to the prepared questions. It may be useful to assign roles such as time keeper, summarizer, and reporter.
Groups summarize their responses - including the range of agreement
and diversity - and report them to the instructor in writing and/or, if
useful, to the entire class, orally. Alternately, in a large class, the
instructor can sample responses from a few groups.
This resource is reproduced here by kind permission from Thomas A. Angelo
The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-6236