These can be time consuming activities but they do enable ideas and experiences from the class to be pooled together for everybody’s benefit.
Staff need to train the groups in discussion method - gradually building up expertise e.g. by providing prompting questions, giving guidance about procedure, rotating responsibilities for chairing, providing opportunities for recording and reporting back.
They are best used after a presentation, video or experience that needs to be examined. The effective discussion is one which allows for full participation in an active process.
Staff need to ensure careful planning to guide discussion and may require the teacher to interject with appropriate questions.