Learning Innovation Unit, Dublin City University

Learning Innovation Unit

Small Group Teaching Models


As part of the implementation of the Learning Innovation Strategic Plan, in particular addressing issues of improving the first year experience, the Learning Innovation Unit will provide funding for innovative teaching approaches with small groups, on a pilot basis. Small Group Teaching enables innovation, interaction and increased participation by students, by providing alternatives to the 'traditional' didactic lecture. Applications are invited from lecturers wishing to pilot a new teaching approach which is enabled by small groups. This can be either a recognised model such as Problem Based Learning, Active Learning, Group Discussion, Case Study models etc, or an approach of the lecturer's own devising providing they can demonstrate effectiveness of the model.  

Funding will be made available for implementation of successful pilot applications from October 2006. Applications must be made using the form below. As funding is limited, applications will be evaluated based on the extent to which an applicant demonstrates (either from research or from their own practice) that they can genuinely improve the first year student experience. Clarity of information provided, detailed implementation and resourcing requirements and evidence of effectiveness of the chosen approach will add significantly to the application.

An information session on Small Group Teaching, including suggested approaches, what does and does not constitute Small Group teaching etc,  will be held on May 17th at 1:15 in VBG12. Queries regarding this call should be directed to jean.hughes@DCU.ie.

NOTE: Funding of traditional tutorial sessions, which are supplemental to lectures, will not be considered. The application must use a Small Group Teaching approach as the core teaching model.  

Some useful references on Small Group Teaching include:

Cannon R., Newble D. ( 2002) A Handbook for Teachers in Universities and Colleges: A Guide to Improving Teaching Methods. London: Kogan Page Ltd

Griffiths S., Partington P (1992) Enabling Active Learning in Small Groups. Sheffield: CVCP Universities' Staff Development and Training Unit.

Griffiths, S., Houston K & Lazenbatt, A (1996). Enhancing Student Learning Through Peer Tutoring in Higher Education. University of Ulster, Coleraine.