Group Discussion or Discussion Group Method
Discussion involves two-way communication between participants. A discussion is the means by which people share experiences, ideas and attitudes. As it helps to foster trainees involvement in what they are learning, it may contribute to desired attitudinal changes. Discussion may be used for the purpose of lesson development, making trainees apply what they have learnt or to monitor trainees learning by way of feedback.
"Group Discussion", popularly labeled as GD, is a methodology used by an organization (company, institute, business school, etc.) to gauge whether the candidate has certain personality traits. GDs form an important part of the short-listing process for recruitment or admission in a company or institution. In this methodology, the group of candidates is given a topic or a situation, typically given some time to think about the same, and then asked to discuss it among themselves for a specific duration (which may vary from one organization to another). As in a football game, where you play like a team, passing the ball to each team member and aim for a common goal, GD is also based on teamwork, incorporating views of different team members to reach a common goal.
So, a group discussion refers to a communicative situation that allows its participants to share their views and opinions with other participants. It is a systematic exchange of information, views and opinions about a topic, problem, issue or situation among the members of a group who share some common objectives.
An instructor and trainees all participate in discussion. During discussion, the instructor spends some time listening while the trainees spend sometimes talking. The discussion is, therefore, a more active learning experience for the trainees than the lecturer. It is desirable that in the end the instructor summarizes the main conclusions of the online discussion activity
- To develop imaginative solutions to problems.
- To stimulate thinking and interest and to secure student participation.
- To emphasise main teaching points.
- To supplement lectures, reading, or laboratory exercises.
- To determine how well student understands concepts and principles.
- To prepare students for application of theory of procedure.
- To summarise, clarify points or review.
Tips to enter the group discussion
- Enter with a supportive statement
- Enter by increasing volume
- Generate supportive data
- Be an active listener
- Be assertive, not aggressive
- Make Friends
- Quality of Content
Singhal, A. & Kalra, B. M. (2012). A Literature Review of Online Discussion Forum in e-Learning Scenario. In International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Engineering & Technology Volume 1, Issue 4, June 2012. Retrived from: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6383/d97bb4c483694aa824e714daead8affcbccd.pdf
Robert H. Trudeau (2005) Get Them to Read, Get Them to Talk: Using Discussion Forums to Enhance Student Learning, Journal of Political Science Education, 1:3, 289-322, DOI: 10.1080/15512160500261178. Retrived from: https://doi.org/10.1080/15512160500261178
Kstoolkit, Discussion Forums - including email lists (http://www.kstoolkit.org/discussion_forums)