Group Learning

group.001The February 5th #lrnchat topic was on Group Learning. As usual, lots of ideas were shared which made me ponder more, and since the chat always happens when I’m either on the way to work or just get to the office, I can’t fully share what I have in mind on Twitter. So here’s my recap which couldn’t fit into 140 characters.

We have all experienced group learning either during our studies or at work and have as well faced its challenges besides its benefits. In this post, I’m going to share the challenges of group learning and how to tackle them.

  • Being competitive and trying to outdo the group

We need to understand that one’s success comes about through the group’s success, and  this can be achieved through building trust and having a cooperative attitude.

  • Lack of self-efficacy

Clark Quinn used this term during our discussion to conclude the point I was trying to make. We need to know that everyone is relying on one another in a group and each of us plays an important role.

  • Not receptive to criticism by other members of the group

We need to learn that facts are crucial to reach an agreement on a solution rather than personal opinions. What I constantly encounter in groups which are assigned to resolve a problem is lack of tolerance for one another’s criticism and most importantly not knowing how to give constructive criticism and the use of language deemed to be inappropriate to maintain the group dynamic. I find this the most important aspect of working and learning in groups.

  • Not sharing one’s views for the fear of judgments

This issue is quite related to point 2 _lack of self-efficacy_  as one might not see the importance of his/her own views and simply be possessed by the fear of being ridiculed or criticized by other group members. Building trust and a safe environment is the most effective way to tackle this issue.

Finally, I’d like to highlight that as learning designers and trainers, it is our role to create a conducive environment to make our learners see the value of group discussion and working towards a solution together rather than individually.

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