The Group discussion is a form of discourse in which a group, often a small group of people meet to discuss a topic and reach a decision. It is an essential tool for learning in the classroom. The Group discussion can be used in many ways with students to add variety and vitality to the teaching/learning process.
Essay on Group Discussion | Objectives, Purpose, Importance, For Students
Group discussion is a process whereby a group of two or more individuals are involved in sharing and discussing common thoughts on particular issues. Briefly, the group discussion is the exchange of ideas between different people on certain issues. The purpose of the group discussion is to enable a group of participants to exchange ideas and views on a given topic, so as to further their understanding of it.
A very important aspect of most classes dealing with Group Discussion is that it makes students learn to express themselves in front of their peers and help them learn how to co-operate with each other. This helps them considerably when they appear for interviews or group discussions outside the college. Group discussion also helps the students in learning the art of dealing with different kinds of people.
Types of Group Discussion:
There are two types of Group discussions:
- Formal group discussions: In formal group discussions, participants in the group discussion are assigned a formal topic to discuss and they remain within the given timeframe to complete their discussion. The audience is either the teacher or fellow participants in the group discussion. This type of group discussion is mostly conducted for the purpose of teaching the participants about group discussion or for a particular subject.
- Informal Group discussions: In informal group discussions, the participants are free to kick off any topic they want to discuss among themselves and have no formal restrictions. The audience is most often other students like those who had participated in a Formal Group Discussion before. This type of discussion is mostly conducted for the purpose of entertainment and socializing.
Importance of Group Discussion:
Group Discussion is an important tool for students in their academic life. It helps them to learn and train better and faster than any other learning method available for the students across the globe. A group discussion involves a large number of people who represent different backgrounds and cultures, which makes it possible for the student’s mind to work with multiple inputs at once. This helps the student to learn more effectively and quickly than any other learning method.
Steps Involved in an Effective Group Discussion:
The following are the most important seven steps that must be followed to ensure a perfect group discussion:
- Preparing or Formulating the Agenda : The organizer should make sure that all his/her participants know the topic to be discussed at every stage of the discussion. This should be made clear before starting off with the formal round of discussion, else it will make participants lose focus on the subject matter at hand.
- Forming Groups : Arranging or placing all potential participants in an effective manner is very important for conducting a group discussion successfully. They need to be placed in a way that all different kinds of views and opinions are heard.
- Defining Roles : Once the participants have been arranged effectively, it is very important for the organizer to clearly define roles for each participant at this stage. In other words, an effective role distribution must be done so as to enable everyone participate well in the discussion.
- Starting off with a formal round of Discussion : In this stage, all participants need to be reminded about the importance of being on time and following the given format of discussion properly. The organizer should ensure that everyone stays focused and is aware of the topic at hand.
- Introducing New Participants : Once a perfect discussion has begun, it is necessary for the organizer to introduce new participants into the group discussion. This helps all other participants focus and re-align their thoughts after a hypothetical situation involving non-participants was previously discussed.
- Generating Good Interaction : Once new participants have been introduced into the group, it is time for everyone to interact and discuss with each other. This is the most important step involving all participants in a group discussion.
- Closing off : Once sufficient time has been given to everyone and the resources required for the final round of discussion have been distributed, it is time to close off and summarize what you learned from this debate/discussion.
Three things to Remember for an Effective Group Discussion:
- Respect : It is very important for everyone to have a healthy environment during the discussion so as to ensure active participation from everyone involved.
- Acceptance : In order to facilitate active participation, there should be acceptance from every individual in the group discussion. No one’s opinion should be denied or silenced until it has been evaluated and digested by the other participants.
- Objectivity : Every individual participating in the group discussion should ensure that their point of view is neutral and positive during interaction with others. This helps people to evaluate each other’s opinions better to generate a good outcome at the end.
Above all, group discussions are a very important part of a student’s life. It is a platform for a student to learn and develop his/her personality as well as speaking skills. To be an effective speaker in front of a large audience, one must have first gained some experience by participating in the different types of group discussions on different topics. In other words, one must first learn how to be a good listener.