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What Learners Think about Group Tasks compared with Lecture-and-Listen method

26 February 2016

Earlier, I shared how some resolutions I have made about my teaching, and I how I have started using group tasks and activities in course delivery. I have also critiqued using the lecture method and even likened it to a commercial motor ride in which the passenger is at the rider’s mercy. “That is how you see it”, you may say. Even some of my colleagues think “it is not good enough”, and that “the lecture method is tried and tested”. What do the learners say?

Student Feedback on Group Tasks

Yesterday within the last 30 minutes of class after I have attained my lesson objectives, I handed out blank flash cards for students to write “What they think about group tasks as compared with the lecture-and-listen method”. I asked if any other lecturer broke them into groups for assigned tasks in other courses for this semester. A vehement “No” was the response. “Nice, so write one thing you like about the group tasks on one side of the paper, and one thing you don’t like about the group tasks on the other side”, I directed.

Below are top five things they liked, and top five things they did not like [a scan of all the flash cards is available here.

Top 5 Things Learners like about Group Tasks

The group tasks [are] very effective, educative and understanding. I like it, all lectures should try it.

The group task is very good and more efficient than that of the individual task or lecture and listen method because its more of interaction based and you are able to share your own ideas with the others as well as have the thoughts of others and it’s helping.

The method according to me is very good, because it makes me understand the lectures very fast.

  • Enhances your learning
  • It rectifies your mistakes
  • You can freely ask any question which you have in your mind about any point in the topic and you get the answer.
  1. It has enhance[d] active participation.
  2. Relaxed environment / atmosphere.

Top 5 Things Learners dislike about Group Tasks

Difficulty in noise regulation since everyone is at liberty to discuss with members while class is on-going.

Although good, there [are] more disagreements and inability to come to a common conclusion in due time. Due to all group members sharing individual ideas and all ideas feeling to be heard. Its a little mind-numbing.

The sitting positions of each group should be changed weekly.

  • Lesson is slow and more time is spent learning a few item[s].
  • Create a lot of noise in the class.

Sometimes the group discussion brings noise in the class which sometimes brings confusion.

Honestly, this feedback has educated me on some more aspects of using the group tasks; you can read them here.


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