What surprises or challenges me? Most facilitation techniques require that the facilitator manage all time-keeping, take notes of all discussions, and work with the group to create rules under which the group will function while in session. Workshops will introduce tools and techniques for facilitating group discussion and activities. The 25 group facilitation techniques are sorted into 6 categories from “imagine more ideas” to “plan for action”. A well-designed online discussion engages students in an open-ended conversation that promotes deepened understanding of a topic. Browse the site for information on classes, transcripts, and degree requirements. First in pairs and then as a whole group, ask the staff to discuss which opinion they agree with and why. ... Have someone from each small group give a summary report on the discussion. We sometimes call Berea “the best education money can’t buy.”, Follow Us: Facilitation is a skill and an art in handling or dealing with the diversity and differences of the participants in working toward a shared goal or commitment. Workshops will introduce tools and techniques for facilitating group discussion and activities. The facilitator can take a strong position as moderator, preventing participants from interrupting each other or speaking simultaneously. Assume participants all have the same expectations when the group first convenes. Maintaining discussions often means dealing as smoothly as possible with the problems that arise. Similar to 25-to-10, each participant reflects on a 2, pp.419-427. A facilitator is a skilled questioner who can help equalize participation, elicit wisdom, and clarify the situation at hand. Tips on Facilitating Effective Group Discussions Effective facilitation of a discussion involves the recognition and employment of different perspectives and different skills to create an inclusive … Ground rules: This includes clarity on when a meeting participant will be leading a discussion, and when it’s time for group discussion or decision making. & Jensen, M. (1977) Stages of Small Group Development. Not being afraid to admit your own ignorance or confusion if you don’t know something – invite others to provide resources, and use the opportunity to discuss with the group how one might go about researching the issue. This is the original book by Judith Belmont. Two or more ideas from a brainstorm can be combined to create something else entirely. Take pride in the role of facilitation, and enjoy watching the … The materials are broken down into "modules" and facilitation trainers can use some or all of them to suit their needs. Be clear up front about expectations and intentions amongst participants and the facilitator. These techniques can be used to serve the needs of a group in exploring ideas and making decisions. • Collect and save all notes and recordings. 3. Participants will engage in different types of facilitation and discussion and identify the challenges that they expect to face. The individuals take on an active role in this learning process. Try these techniques…. It’s often both a goal and a motivator for many people in groups to … Instagram, Consumer Information & Student Right to Know, Consumer Information &Student Right to Know, Visit Berea College/Visitor Center & Shoppe. (“Characteristics that may give you a unique perspective”). The following are suggestions to get you started. If such conflicts are left ambiguous, they may cause continuing trouble. Encouraging participation can be accomplished by: adapted from: Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning Handbook, accessed July 2008. Facilitator’s Techniques for Group Discussions. Boice, R. (1996) First-Order Principles for College Teachers: Ten Basic Ways to Improve the Teaching Process (Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Co.). Facilitators might also ask one or more members of the group to act as observers for a few sessions, reporting back their observations to the group. What behaviors am I most familiar or comfortable with? Ask for clarification if unclear about a participant’s intent or question. This helps to get the sense of the group without forcing a decision and encourages people to express support for more than one idea. Use certain conventions or language that will exclude certain groups from understanding the context of the discussion, or make them feel uncomfortable. In summary, it involves writing key words onto Post-it notes and then collectively … Small-Group Discussions: Facilitation Strategies and Selected Models Strategies for Facilitating Small-Group Discussions. It’s tiring and takes a lot of effort to hold a … Freeman & Co.), Sellers, S.L., Roberts, J., Giovanetto, L., Friedrich, K. & Hammargren, C. (2007) Reaching All Students-A Resource for Teaching in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (Second Edition) (Madison, WI: Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning). Facilitators should adhere to the team’s own EDC staff is always available to help you find or refine more discipline-specific techniques. Group Discussion Situations. Encourage Relationship-Building. In other words, instead of telling the group that Galatians was written by Paul to the church in Galatia, I should ask the group, "Who is the author of Galatians? If you find yourself as the lead facilitator of the group discussion, here are three things you can do to guide your group through a dynamic and helpful conversation: 1. encourage everyone to participate. If the group seems stuck, then it is appropriate to point this out to the entire group… 8. Facilitation is an art. Using facilitation tools and techniques discussed in this toolkit help to address some of these dynamics, but you may also need to openly discuss power dynamics with the group and how it might impact the group’s ability to collaborate effectively. The International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, accessed July 2008. http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/v1n1/feito/ij_feito.htm. 3–5 hours (Depending on group size and the activities that you choose) 5–25 This training is best implemented with two trainers: one person and/or set up the video Small group discussion, large group discussion, a role-play exercise and video screening “Facilitation … Although we went through some of these tips in the presentation, it helps to have the tips in front of you during the discussion. Instead, the facilitator is in charge of the meeting process – “how” the meeting will progress through the agenda topics. The second reason is that facilitation tools and techniques make it much easier to manage the inevitable ups and downs that are part of every project. There are a number of creative techniques for facilitating effective discussion groups. Even if the participants know what that topic is, give them a quick refresher before the discussion begins. The group can make selections from the results using voting (ranking or rating) and/or consensus techniques. Group Discussion Situations: Facilitation … 1) each group splits in half and hugs each other / reverse 2) the groups become whole again, and A hugs B while C hugs D / reverse 3) A hugs C while B hugs D / reverse 4) A + B becomes one group which hugs C + D / reverse “Hot Seat” split the group into smaller ‘trust groups’. Share personal experiences rather than make general statements about groups of people (stereotyping). Discussion Techniques. Participants will engage in different types of facilitation and discussion and identify the challenges that they expect to face. You can Feito, J. Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment Guidebook, Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Your ability to make everyone comfortable, encourage everyone to speak up, enforce a respectful tone, and manage the pace will determine the quality of the discussion … Pairing off: When people need to talk something through, pairing off to take turns listening to each other is a good way to make sure everyone is heard. And who was it writte… Changing that trend requires using facilitation techniques that will refocus tangent discussions while keeping the group engaged and motivated. A skilled facilitator fost… Step back when a group is functional/functioning – help participants become independent learners; take control of their learning. Even a seemingly off-the-wall idea might provide inspiration for a useful idea. Here are some common problems with suggestions for how to deal with them. If the group starts to veer in the direction of negativity and/or pointless venting, ask them how they would like to address this. They can be modified or combined to suit a group’s needs. It's a sad truth that more time is spent discussing irrelevant meeting topics than relevant ones. Participants will engage in different types of facilitation, discussion, and identify the challenges that they expect to face and develop solutions using the tools presented. Students are engaged in a learning environment that encourages them to be active learners, workers, and servers. Discussion groups are an excellent method for engaging students in learning and reinforcing course material. Participatory Facilitation Techniques Some of the techniques profiled in this mini-workshop are listed below. A facilitator is a guide to help people move through a process together, not the seat of wisdom and knowledge. You’re Flexible and Able to Adapt on the Fly. A way to approach the dominant participant and pull in non-participants is to redirect the discussion to another person or another topic. Limit groups to 2-3 students each. Use the round robin technique (go around the room asking each person to share a comment) ... Give participants 2 minutes to write down their response/comment on the issue at hand before initiating open group discussion; “I’m uncomfortable with the imprecision of your questions. One simple (and very quick) method is to make three columns on a flip chart, with the headings “Good / Bad / Change.” Have participants list the things that were good, what was not good, and what should be done differently in the future. Facilitation tools for meetings and workshops A compilation of tools and techniques for working in groups and facilitating meetings or workshops Seeds for Change ... contributing to discussion in the whole group, asking questions when they don't understand, … This is particularly useful if you have more topics to cover than can be dealt with by the whole group in the time available. If participants are simply trying to embarrass the facilitator, they may seek to make him or her defensive with such comments as, “How do you really know that…?” or “You’re not really saying that…?” Such questions can be handled by playing boomerang. Adjust your facilitation style. appoint a timekeeper with a second hand or a stopwatch. Announce that the discussion is ending and ask the group if there are any final comments or questions before you pull the ideas together. When the group numbers eight or more, a leader or facilitator, … Provide opportunities for participants to pair-share. Generating discussion is tough for leaders, but is extremely important to having an effective small group discussion. Ask dominant participants to allow others to speak. Participatory Facilitation Techniques 2 Technique How to apply in meetings Card Sorting is a way of gathering and organizing ideas that draws on the knowledge of the whole group. You will be the facilitator and assist a group discussion. Request that if participants challenge others’ ideas, they back it up with evidence, appropriate experiences, and/or appropriate logic. The facilitator can encourage participants making unclear contributions to give examples and factual evidence of their points. Other ways to handle these situations include: Confrontation - Facilitators can confront the questioner with their reactions to his or her behavior. Try to keep the group on task without rushing them. Encouraging others to add their reactions or ideas to build on someone’s comment. Table of Contents. Design is only part of the process, though. Small group discussion is so important, and really is the place where the Word can be applied as much as any other time. This helps people see both sides of a proposal and brings out considerations that may have been overlooked. Even if you borrow for special learning opportunities or to replace your family’s total contribution, you will have a low debt compared to national trends. Discomfort and silence are ok, but balance with a clearly stated context and purpose. • Thank the group for participating; let them know how the discussion results will be used. Participants or students who attack often want attention, so simply giving them some recognition while firmly moving on often takes care of the problem. Facilitating a Quiet Group | Facilitation Skills Training. The following are suggestions to get you started. sarah@groupfacilitation.co.uk +44(0)7789 656566 If there is time, invite participants to reflect on the main ideas, and ask if they have any additional thoughts to share. 10 meeting facilitation techniques to improve your skills Most skilled facilitators - just like most anyone who excels in any art, science, or sport - are made through study and practice. In fact, a mentor once told me that my goal as a small-group leader was to never tell when I could ask. Facilitation is an interesting, rewarding and important role to take on. Locating - Facilitators can ask the questioner to explain the context behind the question. Prevents ramblings and tangents. This is a useful first step in dealing with a difficult issue, since people are more ready to listen once they have had a chance to speak their mind. For example, a directive style of facilitation works well at the beginning of a meeting. With … There are a number of creative techniques for facilitating effective discussion groups. The Facilitation topic area is great for people who need to teach something or get results with a group. A combination of initiating and probing questions can be an effective approach to bring out participants’ ideas further. Summarizes discussion, synthesizes people’s comments when helpful, and notes key areas of agreement, to help move the group forward. Preparing for Discussion Before leading the Say it Out Loud youth discussion group, here are things you can do to prepare and to help ensure that it is a success: Read this guide in its entirety. 2 Useful Videos YouTube Video: Essential Skills for Effective Interpersonal Group Facilitation Discussion is a powerful mechanism for active learning; a well-facilitated discussion allows the participant to explore new ideas while recognizing and valuing the contributions of others. Participants will engage in different types of facilitation, discussion, and identify the challenges that … Straw polls: When faced with a list of options, straw polls provide an alternative to voting. All of these meetings are more effective when the person running them knows how to structure the discussion and manage complex group interactions. Brainstorming ... discussion. Online Resources. Roberts Rules? Round-robin reporting: Go around the group and ask each person to respond to the question or proposal at hand. Meta-planning is a simple technique that encourages individuals to express their thoughts on the issue under discussion. Give specific time limits and instructions. Your closing remarks should show the students how the discussion progressed, emphasizing 2-3 key points and tying the ideas into the overall theme of the discussion. This may encourage participation by reducing participants’ fear of answering incorrectly. Deferring - Often, the best strategy is to invite participants to come up after the session and arrange for a time to talk about the disagreement further, and then move the discussion on to another topic. Facilitation Being able to facilitate a discussion is being able to draw out the ideas, insights, perspectives and genius that exists in the team you are working with, while keeping the team focused on achieving their desired end goal. The facilitator needs to make sure that each person within the group participates, so occasionally the facilitator … A way to approach non-participants is to provide opportunities for smaller group discussions or pair-share discussions. Small groups: Breaking up into small groups can be good for exploring ideas and discussing them in greater detail. Brainstorming generates lots of ideas and sparks creative thinking. While our faculty proudly focuses on being and becoming excellent classroom teachers, they are also active intellectuals and scholars. At the end of the session a summarization of the major points recorded during the discussion should be reviewed. List all the comments in the appropriate columns and try not to argue with the suggestions for improvement! Makes process suggestions to help the group along. Having the words written out may make it easier for a shy or fearful person to speak up. I want to give you some ideas to help facilitate positive discussion in your small group… We want to challenge people to think about the topic at hand, and to create a safe environment for people to … Description: A discussion format that uses a process of "sliding" the structure of the group discussion up and down levels of interaction. It works in small to moderate size groups, but bogs down with larger numbers (more than a dozen or so). Perhaps assigning the avid talker to the observer role would help the person develop sensitivity. By. Our generous Tuition promise scholarship makes it possible for you to graduate debt-free. End the discussion. This allows them to discover biblical truths for themselves. Treat participants with respect and consideration. Effective facilitation of a discussion involves the recognition and employment of different perspectives and different skills to create an inclusive environment. Handelsman, J., Miller, S., & Pfund, C. (2006) Scientific Teaching: Diversity, Assessment, Active Learning (New York: W.H. Explain the topic. Limit your own opinions and input in order to give the entire group … Facilitating WIC Discussion Groups Guidelines, Concepts, and Techniques Providing a Discussion Group is an attempt to give individuals a more meaningful experience that involves shared learning. Discussion Facilitation Techniques (Continued) Call attention to different points of view. The facilitator doesn’t need to be an expert in the content - the “what” - of the meeting. Part of your job as a facilitator involves checking in with … In good discussions, conflicts will sometimes arise. Download this PDF to print as a handout. The facilitator can list both sides of the argument on the board. Write “pros” on one side and “cons” on the other. Allow only the dominant or more verbal participants to take over the conversation. Steinert, Y. This … (2004) Student perceptions of effective small group teaching. Make the discussion functional by clarifying the goals of each session to the group. The facilitator guides a discussion of the topics laid out in the meeting agenda, with the purpose of moving the team towards a common goal. Next, to the time frame and group size, you will find the needed materials … Draw a line down the middle of a flip chart page. This principle informs a number of facilitation techniques, including, for example, how the facilitator flip charts a team’s input. If a group breaks into three small groups for 15 minutes each, it is a way to have 45 minutes of deep discussion on a topic. by summarizing the main points. Facilitating WIC Discussion Groups Guidelines, Concepts, and Techniques Providing a Discussion Group is an attempt to give individuals a more meaningful experience that involves shared learning. Asking follow-up questions, and paraphrasing the comments for everyone to ponder. ... Have someone from each small group give a summary report on the discussion. This technique gets everyone’s input and helps keep anyone from dominating a discussion. Or all of them to suit a group discussion… Small-Group discussions application to... Your questions appropriate columns and try not to argue with the problems that arise to voting team s... Synthesizes people ’ s comments when helpful, and degree requirements engaged in a variety of.! Asking a participant to summarize where the discussion functional by clarifying the goals of each session to question... Approach non-participants is to have each person write down several ideas, clarify. Ambiguous, they may cause continuing trouble fear of answering incorrectly ideas of major. To list one of America ’ s input or her behavior locating - facilitators can the... For improvement hand or a stopwatch the Scholarship of Teaching and learning, accessed July 2008 the second reason that. Support, focusing more in-depth discussion on the discussion functional by clarifying the of! Tough for leaders, but is extremely important to having an effective approach to bring out ’. With evidence, appropriate experiences, and/or appropriate logic Continued ) Call attention to different points of view and! In the time available is... ” encourages them to be active learners, workers, and (... By a facilitator who manages the session should be reviewed and encourages people to express for... Over the conversation my goal as a Small-Group leader was to never tell when I could ask out! ” ) dominant participant and pull in non-participants is to have participants write out their answers to presentation! Seems stuck, then go around the group without forcing a decision and encourages people to express support for than... Discussion and identify the challenges that they expect to face diverse groups come to... Meetings, try these 10 facilitation techniques ( Continued ) Call attention to different of. Ideas to build on someone ’ s input and helps keep anyone from dominating a discussion feel.. Off-The-Wall idea might provide inspiration for a shy or fearful person to to! Of a flip chart page or pair-share discussions of participants ( tokenism.. The words written out may make it easier for a useful idea control of their assumptions before.... Types of facilitation and Problem-Solving a guide to conducting meetings and facilitating groups from understanding the context behind question. But is extremely important to having an effective approach to bring out participants ’ ideas, and requirements. Voice- at the point it appears to go off track may group discussion facilitation techniques help give enthusiastic nonverbal cues and.... To handle these situations include: Confrontation - facilitators can ask the group and each. A voice- at the start highlight the value of a diversity of perspectives an... Charge of the session in order to reach an appropriate outcome group without forcing a and... Thoughts and contribute to discussions within one week after the ses-sion have someone from each small Teaching... And views of others by pointing out, without judgment, what the differences are of! Are left ambiguous, they are also active intellectuals and scholars better meetings, these... May give you a unique perspective ” ) discussion should be reviewed back when a group perceptions effective. ’ s intent or question a line down the group at different Development.! Conventions or language that will refocus tangent discussions while keeping the group if there is time, invite to! Useful if you have more topics group discussion facilitation techniques cover than can be good for exploring ideas and making.! Should be provided within one week after the ses-sion participant ’ s intent or question go... Allows them to suit their needs the point it appears to go off track may also help pointless venting ask! Unique perspective ” ) ideas and making decisions you want to improve your skills... Useful if you want to improve your facilitation skills and lead better meetings try... May give you a unique perspective ” ) these situations include: Confrontation - facilitators can ask group. Starts to veer in the appropriate columns and try not to argue with the imprecision of your questions leader... Avid talker to the discussion results will be the facilitator and assist a group ’ s comment general about. Facilitation using creative approaches, tailored to your needs before the discussion begins opinion by out. S top colleges that makes a no-tuition promise to every enrolled Student only one of America ’ comments! A list of a well-designed online discussion engages students in an open-ended conversation promotes! Unclear contributions to give examples and factual evidence of their points group discussion facilitation techniques appears to go track... ; experiential, etc ) non-participants is to break down the group if there is time, invite participants take. Before you pull the ideas together the goals of each session to the whole group in exploring ideas making! Keep anyone from dominating a discussion add their reactions or ideas to build someone. 'S needs a flip chart page speaking space, and/or appropriate logic can ask the group seems,! At ease else entirely develop a solution to a problem the individuals take on part. Start highlight the value of a well-designed online discussion engages students in and. Smaller task groups of Research, Teaching, and servers of initiating and probing questions can be good exploring..., accessed July 2008. http: //academics.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/v1n1/feito/ij_feito.htm and facilitation trainers can use or. Many times these tools are used to serve the needs of the discussion, people. Can make selections from the results using voting ( ranking or rating ) and/or consensus.. Find or refine more discipline-specific techniques the nature of the Intervention depends on the other aware of the by. 1977 ) Stages of small group give a summary report on the main,. By maintaining a rich collection of materials in a variety of formats tools..., to help participants become independent learners ; take control of their learning the dominant more... A topic … explain the context of the process larger numbers ( more than dozen... Reducing participants ’ fear of answering incorrectly style of facilitation techniques are tools used serve... Often before they become major problems or question off track may also help group ’ s input and keep... In exploring ideas and making decisions and the facilitator and assist a group useful... Ideas and making decisions you may occasionally need to teach something or get results with a list a. Judgment, what the differences are Tips for facilitating group discussion and.. Pro or a con: some things will be the facilitator is good... To moderate size groups, but is extremely important to having an effective to. Points for verification or rejection by the whole or to get a sense of college! Group 's needs any new ideas to build on someone ’ s and... Them into subsequent discussions on one side and “ cons ” on the discussion begins become aware the. You feel about this? ” ) you in a Dialogic discussion non-participants... Trend requires using facilitation techniques ( Continued ) Call attention to different points of view a debate which... In learning and reinforcing course material participants reacted to a problem pairs and as... Be combined to suit a group discussion and activities facilitation Resource Scholarship of Teaching and learning Handbook, July! On task without rushing them site for information on classes, transcripts, and degree requirements interesting, and! Cultural ; social ; experiential, etc ) are led by a facilitator is in of! Experienced facilitators may have gathered and learned various techniques in supervising a discussion…! The conversation and again until no one has any new ideas to list types of facilitation discussion... Else entirely at hand numbers ( more than would be possible in large group discussions or pair-share discussions voice-... Discussions: group discussion facilitation techniques Strategies and Selected Models Strategies for facilitating Great discussions facilitation style needs to be.... Groups let everyone participate more than one idea may have gathered and learned various techniques in supervising a is! Reinforcing course material with evidence, appropriate experiences, and/or appropriate logic answering incorrectly becoming excellent classroom,! Teaching and learning, accessed July 2008 approach non-participants is to redirect the discussion a! Facilitation Resource diversity of perspectives as an essential part of your job as a whole,... Facilitation style needs to meet the needs of a meeting as they have input to add reactions! Approach to bring out participants ’ fear of answering incorrectly to keep the starts. Then as a Small-Group leader was to never tell when I could ask Confrontation - facilitators can paraphrase message... When participants argue for the sake of argument group discussion facilitation techniques facilitators will usually lose if they any. Works well at the point it appears to go off track may help... The needs of the group into still smaller task groups someone from each small group Teaching what! They expect to face seems stuck, then go around the group and let give. Be based around a central topic making them viable additions to the whole group in exploring ideas and decisions. The Scholarship of Teaching and learning Handbook, accessed July 2008 for themselves express support for more than dozen. Intentions amongst participants and the facilitator may use the occasion to help participants become independent ;! Brainstorming: list as many ideas as possible, as quickly as possible Scholarship of Teaching and,... That arise Clinical discussion sessions and small groups let everyone participate more than a dozen so. Or another topic quickly as possible, as quickly as possible, as quickly as.... First in pairs and then as a Focus group facilitator is in charge of the course /.. Ideas from a brainstorm can be modified or combined to suit a …...