Strategy 13: Group Interaction
Version Date: February 27, 2014
Group Interaction is a more formal version of Conversation.
In Conversation, the person with the new learning does most of the
talking, presenting to one or more other people, who can ask questions.
In Group Interaction, the questions and interactions are nearly
scripted, to make sure that certain questions and certain thought
pathways are included.
Whether the group is just a dyad (two people) or a small group of
four or five, it's a good idea to include these features:
- Clarification. The
presenter needs to be able to communicate his or her knowledge in a
clear and understandable way, and support the knowledge claims with
appropriate evidence, arguments, and reasons. In the course of the
presentation, then, at various intervals, the listener(s) should
- paraphrase the presenter's important points
- explain the structure of the presenter's argument: thesis
(central idea) and reasons
- generate a list of confirming and disconfirming arguments
applicable to the presenter's thesis
- list or draw the sequence of steps in the process, the points
made, or reasons supporting the argument
- outline the presentation and discuss the outline with the
presenter to see how well the outline captures the presenter's
- Exploring in the box. The
listeners to the presentation should ask the following questions in an
interview-style interaction when the presenter is finished:
- Why is this important? That is, now that you and we know
this, so what?
- Please explain this aspect more fully or clarify this idea.
- What would be another example?
- Exploring out of the box.
These questions take the presenter and the audience beyond the
immediate information just learned into the context around it. It's
important to be able to fit new knowledge into current knowledge. This
is a process known as integration.
- Can you give us a non-example?
- What would be an example of disconfirming evidence? (Evidence
that would argue against the presenter's information or central idea.)
- Who disagrees with your conclusions, and what do they say?
- What are the weak points in your conclusions?
- How does this new knowledge fit in with your current knowledge?
- Personal response.
Learning that impacts us personally is much more likely to be
remembered than something we just memorized off hand and only for a
test. Here are some personalization questions.
- What surprised you the most about learning this?
- What one thing (or two or three things) that you learned
impacted you the most on a personal level?
- What are you still curious about?
- Will you be doing additional research in this area? Why? Why
When the information is complex or has more than one position, two
presenters can deliver aspects of the same idea or arguments for
opposing positions. In the latter case, the format is a debate. The
audience (the other members of the small group or class) can then
question each presenter in turn using some of the structured
Learning Strategy 1: Mnemonics
Learning Strategy 2: Paraphrasing
Learning Strategy 3: Summarizing
Learning Strategy 4: Self Monitoring
Learning Strategy 5: Self Explanation
Learning Strategy 6: Mental Rehearsal
Learning Strategy 7: Self Assessment
Learning Strategy 8: The SQ3R Reading Method
Learning Strategy 9: Note Taking
Learning Strategy 10: The Leitner Flash Card
Learning Strategy 11: Maintaining Interest
Learning Strategy 12: Conversation
Learning Strategy 13: Group Interaction
Learning Strategy 14: Idea Mapping
Learning Strategy 15: Drawing Pictures
Learning Strategy 16: Study Cycles
Learning Strategy 17: Sleep and Rest
Learning Strategy 18: Fluency / Automaticity
Learning Strategy 19: Learning Strategy Checklist
Learning Strategy 20: Asking Questions
Learning Strategy 21: Idea Linking
Learning Strategy 22: How to Use a Book
Learning Strategy 23: Active Listening
Learning Strategy 24: Close Reading
Learning Strategy 25: Fluency / Automaticity
Learning Strategy 26: Power Thinking
Learning Strategy 27: Planning for Learning
Learning Strategy 28: Outlining
Learning Strategy 29: Analogies
2013 by Robert Harris | CCC
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About the author:
Harris is a writer
and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the
and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com