Study of learning in small groups with an emphasis on facilitating effective learning in small groups in university programmes: A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Science

A study of student expectations and perceptions of learning in small groups in the university was carried out. A class of senior students was approached, and volunteers sought. The students were interviewed, and the interviews were recorded on audio cassette. They also completed a questionnaire giving their demographic details. The students identity remained anonymous in the analysis of their replies. The students had clear expectations of the leader and member roles within a group. They expected the leader to define the task, suggest solution for completing the task and hold the group together. They expected the members to fully contribute and participate in the group activity. Not surprisingly, their experience of working in small groups was similar to their expectations. The leaders role was as they expected, except in the leaderless groups that some of the students were involved in, where the leadership role was not required. The students could identify the task and maintenance needs of the group, but they had no perception of either their own individual needs, or the needs of the other individuals in the group. This showed that the students did not have any perception of the group processes working within their groups.
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