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Small Group Teaching

Components of Facilitating a Small Group Discussion

Beginning
Introductions (facilitator and learners)
Set expectations
Start on time
Create a safe environment
Outline what will occur during the session
Ensure confidentiality
Model respect/acceptance of others
Use non-judgmental language-"I understand what you are
saying, but I'm not sure I agree, I wonder what others think".


Middle
Facilitating a Discussion
Asking questions effectively
Use open ended questions to broaden the discussion and
closed ended questions to deepen it.
Enthusiasm for all responses (not just the right answers).
Avoid "tell me what I'm thinking" questions
Pause and allow enough time for an answer
Encourage Clinical Reasoning
Clarify data
Generate hypotheses
Test hypotheses
Decide on likely diagnoses

Types of Questions
Factual-to get information and open discussion.
"What are the criteria for…"
Broadening-to introduce additional facts and
encourage analysis.
"What other facts are important?"
Justifying-to challenge old ideas and develop new
"Why do you think so?
Hypothetical-to explore unknowns/change course of
discussion."Suppose the patient was….?
Alternative-to make decisions between alternatives/reach
agreement."Which of these two treatment is best?"

Maximizing group participation
Stop talking
Actively listen
Use names, make eye contact
Check in with quieter members
Control dominant/disruptive members
Be enthusiastic


Closing
Summarize what was learned (or ask learners to)
Identify unmet needs and assign tasks
Share with the group what you learned
Plan for the next session


 



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Macy Initiative on Health Communication
Division of Primary Care
NYU School of Medicine
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