360 DEGREES SQUAD - Group Discussion Format
In 360 degrees squad, a group is given an issue, a case or a problem to discuss and each is expected to contribute. Often it helps to have assigned roles:
A "sergeant" who helps the group take charge of the discussion She/he reads the issue or problem to the group, keeps the group on task and focused, mediates conflict, manages time and bring the case to completion.
A "recorder" to write down the main ideas
A "reporter" to report back to the group what the major points of the discussion were and what, if any, conclusions were drawn.
The group forms a circle. It is better to have a round table. The sergeant reads over the issue at the beginning, aloud, so that everyone knows exactly what is being discussed. The issue or problem raises some relevant questions for discussion and possible resolution.
When coming back together, "reporter” will give a very brief (5 minute maximum) summary of the key points raised by this issue during discussion.
Being An Effective Participant
Positive interdependence: The group sinks or swims together.
Group members share a group task, a mutual goal, and common resources (a shared text or problem).
Face-to-face interaction and advocacy: Members help each other learn.
Members are more able to learn together when they face each other in small circles. They also support each other in discussion when the sergeant makes a commitment to solve problems jointly through discussion and shared explanations. Rather than work together on a series of questions they have been asked to discuss, they decide that each will work alone on one of the questions and share her/his answer with the others. Discourage the privatization of group work. More effective cooperative learning occurs when members maintain a commitment to sharing insights with each other. Four or five heads are better than one when it comes to responding to an assignmentIndividual accountability: Each group member has a responsibility to contribute to the group and do her/his "fair share."
Although small group work tends not to proceed well when members divide portions of an assignment among themselves, thereby privatizing the assignment Group work is enhanced when there is division of group member roles among themselves.
BITS OF ADVICES
- Silence is O.K. Think before speaking.
- Maintain roles. Once each member of a group has an assigned role (e.g., seargent) for the day, agree to those roles and do not switch.
- If you do not understand what another person has said, ask for clarification.
- Respect the contributions of others. One of the ways we learn from in-group discussions is from seeing things from perspective different from our own.
- Try to give "equal air time" to everyone in the group.
|Say This||Instead of This|
|I don’t think I agree. Could you explain.||That doesn’t make sense at all.|
|I disagree because …. ‘|
I see it differently because ….
|Wow! Is that ever dumb.|
|I think we should check our notes and the original assignment.||That is not what the teacher asked us to do.|
|It might be better to …..|
Have you considered ….
|You are dead wrong.|
|Does everyone agree?||Let’s vote on it.|
|I understand how you feel, but I think you might consider also ….||That really offends me!|
A sergeant brings the issue or problem to completion.