NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ914482
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Learning through Discussions: Comparing the Benefits of Small-Group and Large-Class Settings
Pollock, Philip H.; Hamann, Kerstin; Wilson, Bruce M.
Journal of Political Science Education, v7 n1 p48-64 2011
The literature on teaching and learning heralds the benefits of discussion for student learner outcomes, especially its ability to improve students' critical thinking skills. Yet, few studies compare the effects of different types of face-to-face discussions on learners. Using student surveys, we analyze the benefits of small-group and large-class discussions in an upper-level political theory course. We also analyze whether the same types of students are likely to participate and reap the benefits of both types of discussions. We find that, overall, participation is higher in small-group discussions, as are students' perceptions of learner outcomes. We also find a more equal participation of students of different ethnic backgrounds in small-group discussions; similarly, previous academic achievements have less influence on discussion participation in small groups. (Contains 1 table, 3 figures, and 3 notes.)
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A