Involving Postgraduate's Students in Undergraduate Small Group Teaching Promotes Active Learning in Both

Int J Appl Basic Med Res. 2015 Aug;5(Suppl 1):S14-7. doi: 10.4103/2229-516X.162256.


Background: Lecture is a common traditional method for teaching, but it may not stimulate higher order thinking and students may also be hesitant to express and interact. The postgraduate (PG) students are less involved with undergraduate (UG) teaching. Team based small group active learning method can contribute to better learning experience.

Aim: To-promote active learning skills among the UG students using small group teaching methods involving PG students as facilitators to impart hands-on supervised training in teaching and managerial skills.

Methodology: After Institutional approval under faculty supervision 92 UGs and 8 PGs participated in 6 small group sessions utilizing the jigsaw technique. Feedback was collected from both.

Observations: Undergraduate Feedback (Percentage of Students Agreed): Learning in small groups was a good experience as it helped in better understanding of the subject (72%), students explored multiple reading resources (79%), they were actively involved in self-learning (88%), students reported initial apprehension of performance (71%), identified their learning gaps (86%), team enhanced their learning process (71%), informal learning in place of lecture was a welcome change (86%), it improved their communication skills (82%), small group learning can be useful for future self-learning (75%). Postgraduate Feedback: Majority performed facilitation for first time, perceived their performance as good (75%), it was helpful in self-learning (100%), felt confident of managing students in small groups (100%), as facilitator they improved their teaching skills, found it more useful and better identified own learning gaps (87.5%).

Conclusions: Learning in small groups adopting team based approach involving both UGs and PGs promoted active learning in both and enhanced the teaching skills of the PGs.

Keywords: Postgraduate; small group learning; undergraduate student.