ERIC Number: ED204803
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Small Groups in College Writing Classes: Why and How.
Legge, Anne L.
The use of small instructional groups can make several contributions to college writing courses. First, small group instruction is participatory, it provides helpful feedback, and it fosters higher levels of cognition. There is near universal acceptance of the theory that students of all ages learn best when participating actively in their own learning. In the complex activity of writing, feedback from several sources may be more useful than a single response. Also, students need to learn both to give and to receive feedback, and in small groups the roles of communicator and receiver are rapidly interchanged. Further, the diversity of information, experience, and opinion afforded in the small group can foster such levels of thinking as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Second, the small group mode is uniquely capable of promoting skills specifically related to writing. For example, brainstorming can help beginning writers faced with apprehension or block, while discussion can focus the audience for a writer or help voice the frame of mind necessary for revision. Third, small groups also contribute in the affective domain, in terms of shared student motivation, a sense of individual worth not found in large classes, and student awareness of the many different approaches to writing. (HTH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A