DoingCL - Student Reports





Student Reports

Having students give reports in front of the class is important but has drawbacks. In a class with as few as 30 students, if each group gave a short 10-minute presentation, this would consume considerable time. Also students spend most of their time in a passive listening role. Listed below are several more efficient methods of sharing group information.

Poster Session

This method reflects one process scientists use to share ideas. Groups present their solutions to a problem in the form of a concept map, an outline, or a poster typical of those found at professional meetings One student is given the task of being the spokesperson while other group members view other groups' posters. They rotate roles so that all have the chance to be spokesperson (Millis and Cottell, 1998).

Team Rotation

For more formal presentations, team rotation (originally called Inside/Outside Circle; Kagan, 1992) saves time, encourages more feedback and feedback from peers, permits more revisions to the presentation, and is less threatening (Millis and Cottell, 1998).

Groups prepare a 10 minute presentation on an experiment they have done, topic or problem. Groups are paired and each group gives the presentation to the other group. The second group responds with questions, asks for clarifications, and comments on the overall quality of the presentation. The groups switch roles and the second group presents its 10 minute report. Groups use the remaining class time to refine and practice their presentations. This process can be repeated during the second day of class with different groups paired. This process gives students given the opportunity to try again (something that does not typically happen). The last 20 minutes can be used for instructor feedback and general comments (Millis and Cottell, 1998).

Three-Stay One Stray

The student gains experience by presenting and teaching while the other students gain experience asking probing questions. This is a low risk approach for students since they present only to three other students and not the entire class. It encourages the idea that knowledge resides with the students and not just the instructor. Finally, it is an efficient method since all groups report simultaneously instead of sequentially (Kagan, 1992; Millis and Cottell, 1998).

One group member from each group is asked to switch into another group. This student presents a report to this new group. Easy identification of team members is necessary (having students count off within their groups isan easy way to assign identifcation to the students).

Kagan, S. (1992) Cooperative learning. San Juan Capistrano, CA: Resources for Teachers, Inc.

Millis, B. J., and Cottell, P. G., Jr. (1998). Cooperative learning for higher education faculty, American Council on Education, Series on Higher Education. The Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ.

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