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Module 6: Group Work and Presentations

What do we mean by group work and presentations?

Group working in all its forms can be seen as a valuable way to engage students in discussion and debate, building and reinforcing understanding and ownership, generating new ideas and overcoming misunderstandings. Group working might include a small group of students working in-class on a problem set by the tutor or a longer terms group task carried out inside the classroom and beyond where students set the agenda and agree ways of working independently of the tutor.

Three male students working at a laptop in the university library

Group working helps to develop key skills such as critical thinking, communication, facilitation, presentation and decision-making. It involves interaction between students, in contrast to the passive activity experienced in a lecture situation.

Likewise, presentations enable students to showcase their presentation design skills, condensing complex arguments into coherent and bite sized oral and visual content. Presentations also illustrate a student’s communication skills and understanding of audience. The audience may be a tutor, other students or invited guests.  (Need more here).  

Contexts for group work

Group working might include such diverse activities as:

  • Informal sharing of information and ideas with peers (face to face, social media etc)
  • Semi structured paired and group discussion as a part of lecture/seminar
  • Structured group activity – e.g. within tutorials
  • More formal group tasks (often assessed) such as creation and delivery of presentations, projects and/or joint assignments

Contexts for presentations

Like group work, presentations can span a wide range of contexts and activities:

  • Informal feedback from a group activity to a larger group
  • Poster presentations
  • Formal presentations where the student produces a presentation on a given topic and presents this to an audience
  • VIVA – where a student is asked to present their research and then defend it to a panel of expert questioners.
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