Group Learning DVD Series

A DVD Training Series Developed and Produced by the University Tutorial Center.

Productive tutoring consists of a complex set of behaviors that can best be taught by demonstrating effective techniques, allowing practice in real tutoring situations, and providing opportunities for reflection and discussion. Over time, this guided training approach steadily closes the gap between actual and optimal tutoring performances.

A Look at Productive Group Learning Sessions DVD series is designed to be used in this cycle of modeling, practice, reflection, and discussion. Train your group tutors, session leaders or teaching assistants in effective group facilitation and tutoring techniques using this guided DVD training approach!

The DVDs can also be used for training middle school and high school tutors.

Module Descriptions

All four modules of A Look at Productive Group Learning Sessions contain footage from actual group learning sessions. The modules are sequenced to provide a progressive training experience for new group session leaders in either a single day’s training or in four or more separate training experiences. Pause screens are inserted at various points in each module as reminders of the need for reflection and discussion.

To view a sample of the contents, click on the module number below to see a 1 – 2 minute sample.

Module / (Length) Title Description
Introduction to Group Learning Sessions and Group Session Leadership An overview of the content of the four training modules and introductory information on the benefits of group learning sessions for students, modes of operating group sessions, and characteristics of good group session leaders. Includes both narration and interviews with group session leaders.
Group Session Leader (GSL) Strategies and Skills A comprehensive outline of skills and techniques needed to operate successful group learning sessions. GSL skills are organized into three broad leader strategies: 1) encouraging student participation, 2) providing structure, and 3) helping students become independent learners. Skills are highlighted by graphic overlays and illustrated in short clips from group learning sessions. Narration is used to explain the rationale for the use of each GSL skill.
Using GSL Skills in Example Sessions An exhibition of GSL skills in the context of longer segments of group session footage. Narration is used to introduce each group session in the module, but to maintain the continuity of the sessions, the GSL skills are identified only by graphic overlays. In the first few group sessions, the skills are clearly labeled by a graphic. In the later samples, a graphic is used to flag the moment a skill is used, and the viewers are challenged to identify the skill.
Group Learning Session Critique A collection of longer group session segments similar to those in Module 3. These segments are shown without the use of graphics to flag the GSL skills. Instead, trainees are challenged to make a list of all skills observed and any improvements that they might suggest. After each segment, a list of the featured skills is revealed to the viewers to provide feedback and positive reinforcement.
  • Encourage Student Participation
    • Positive reinforcement
    • Nonverbal positive reinforcement
    • Partial positive reinforcement
    • Use of names
    • Repeat student responses
    • Ask appropriate questions
    • Open-ended questions
    • Encourage student verbalization
    • Wait time — After asking a question
    • Wait time – After student responses
    • Socratic questioning
    • Encourage student questions
    • Redirection
    • Emphasis on student ideas
    • Get students to explain their thinking
    • Use of student ideas
    • Delayed positive reinforcement
  • Provide Structure
    • Organize the session
    • Emphasize definitions and rules
    • Provide good visuals
    • Provide analogies and examples
    • Mnemonic devices
    • Help classify content
    • An emphasis on process
    • “If-Then” reasoning
    • Make list of problem steps
    • Summarize Important Points
    • Discuss test strategies
  • Help Students Become Independent Learners
    • Use of text and notes
    • Refer to the lecture
    • Refer to charts in text and/or notes
    • Encourage independent effort