Benefits to working in a group:
- Groups have more information than a single individual. Groups have a greater well of resources to tap and more information available because of the variety of backgrounds and experiences.
- Groups stimulate creativity. In regard to problem solving, the old adage can be applied that “two heads are better than one.”
- People remember group discussions better. Group learning fosters learning and comprehension. Students working in small groups have a tendency to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same material is presented in other instructional formats (Barkley, Cross & Major, 2005; Davis, 1993).
- Decisions that students help make yield greater satisfaction. Research suggests that students who are engaged in group problem solving are more committed to the solution and are better satisfied with their participation in the group than those who were not involved.
- Students gain a better understanding of themselves. Group work allows people to gain a more accurate picture of how others see them. The feedback that they receive may help them better evaluate their interpersonal behavior.
- Team work is highly valued by employers. Well developed interpersonal skills were listed by employers among the top 10 skills sought after in university graduates (Graduate Outlook Survey, 2010).
- Students engaged in group work, or cooperative learning, show increased individual achievement compared to students working alone.
- Student group work enhances communication and other professional development skills.
- Group work creates more opportunities for critical thinking and can promote student learning and achievement.
- Group work gives students the opportunity to engage in process skills critical for processing information, and evaluating and solving problems, as well as management skills through the use of roles within groups, and assessment skills involved in assessing options to make decisions about their group’s final answer.
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