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Response – Small Group Conversations in Issue-Solving versus Informational Lectures

Response – Small Group Conversations in Issue-Solving versus Informational Lectures

Responding to Peer 1


Thank you for your post. I agree with your assessment of the efficacy of small group conversations in issue-solving versus informational lectures. Your personal experience emphasizes the critical benefit of small group settings, including the possibility for active engagement and the exchange of varied perspectives. Moreover, individuals can dispute one other’s ideas, raise questions, and jointly explore multiple views during such talks. This dynamic interplay frequently results in more creative and thorough solutions. Smaller groups encourage increased involvement and more meaningful and culturally varied talks, which are critical for addressing complicated challenges. Small group talks also foster critical thinking and collaborative abilities, which are required in today’s workforce. Individuals who actively participate in problem-solving talks obtain a better grasp of the topic at hand and learn crucial skills like effective communication, teamwork, and bargaining (Taggart & Wheeler, 2023). These abilities are transferable to many facets of life, making small group conversations useful for immediate problem-solving and personal and professional development. Overall, your point of view is well backed by personal experience and empirical facts.


Taggart, J., & Wheeler, L. B. (2023). Collaborative learning as constructivist practice: An exploratory qualitative descriptive study of faculty approaches to student group work. Active Learning in Higher Education.

Responding to Peer 2


This is a great post. I appreciate your clear description of the social psychology perspective on problem-solving, small group discussions, and informational lectures. You mentioned social facilitation, which emphasizes the favorable impact of others’ presence on performance, particularly in small-group situations. Your example of pupils completing math problems or debating historical events more efficiently in small groups exemplifies how this idea works in practice. I particularly appreciate your recognition of the importance of informational lectures in giving theoretical frameworks and problem-solving strategies. Lectures can provide a solid foundation for grasping complicated topics (Mshayisa, 2020). However, as you correctly stated, there is a big difference between supplying theoretical knowledge and actively participating in problem-solving. Combining the two approaches, in which lectures present concepts and small group discussions allow for practical application and collaborative investigation, can be an effective strategy to improve problem-solving skills in various contexts. Overall, your paper offers a well-rounded take on the subject, underlining the merits of both techniques and emphasizing the significance of context and application in effective problem-solving.


Mshayisa, V. V. (2020). Students’ perceptions of Plickers and crossword puzzles in undergraduate studies. Journal of Food Science Education, 19(2), 49–58.



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Small Group Conversations in Issue-Solving versus Informational Lectures

Small Group Conversations in Issue-Solving versus Informational Lectures

peer 1.) I agree that small group discussions are more successful in targeting and solving problems than larger settings or informational lectures. I personally have been part of both samples. In the small group setting, everyone has the ability to share input, opinions, and information that may enhance or change the course of the conversation. Informational lectures are confined to one person talking to a group of others, only sharing their opinion or information or their version of the information garnered from others. One study examined small-group versus large-group classroom settings in student learning outcomes (Pollock et al., 2011). They found that not only is there more participation in the smaller group settings but that the students also found more meaningful and productive experiences in the small group setting. The study also identified that the small group setting offered a more culturally diverse sample of input, opinions, and experiences, which is very important, in my opinion. When tackling a specific issue, it is important to have a multi-angle approach and weigh a wide range of information that cannot be fully achieved through a single lecturer.

Pollock, P. H., Hamann, K., & Wilson, B. M. (2011). Learning Through Discussions: Comparing the Benefits of Small-Group and Large-Class Settings. Journal of Political Science Education, 7(1), 48–64.

peer 2.) Small group discussions often yield better results in problem-solving than informational lectures from a social psychology perspective. According to social facilitation theory, the presence of others can enhance performance on simple or well-learned tasks. (Liad, 2007) Social facilitation was coined by Allport (1924) to describe “an increase in response merely from the sight or sound of others making the same movement. According to social facilitation theory, In small group discussions, individuals can benefit from the company of their peers, leading to increased motivation and better problem-solving.

Small group discussions encourage collaboration and the exchange of ideas. For example, in a classroom setting, students often solve complex math problems or discuss historical events more effectively when working in small groups.

Informational lecture-style teaching can be valuable for developing problem-solving skills in specific contexts. Still, there may be better approaches for all types of problem-solving. Lectures can introduce learners to theoretical frameworks, models, and methodologies applied to problem-solving. According to Communication and Education, A multimodal approach to information seeking and sources emphasizes utilizing print and audiovisual materials, computerized resources, and subject experts. (Colleen, 1996) Understanding these frameworks can help individuals approach problems systematically and analytically. But, there may be better approaches for some types of problem-solving.

Real-Life Example: In a corporate setting, a team comprising members from different departments and backgrounds might be more successful in developing innovative strategies than a lecture-style presentation by a single expert.

In conclusion, from a social psychology perspective, small group discussions often lead to better problem-solving outcomes than informational lectures. They promote social interaction, collaboration, diverse perspectives, active engagement, and more influential group dynamics, all of which can contribute to more innovative and practical solutions to complex problems.

Colleen Garside (1996) Look who’s talking: A comparison of lecture and group discussion teaching strategies in developing critical thinking skills, Communication Education, 45:3, 212-227, DOI: 10.1080/03634529609379050

Liad, U. (2007, June 11). Individual differences in the social facilitation effect: A review and meta-analysis. Science Direct.

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