Ask the expert: Identify the role of a group leader

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, May 22, 2009

This week, Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN,  shares the role of the group leader during activities.

Q: What role does a group leader play during group activities?

A: Prior to initiating group activities, make sure the learners have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively participate. Remember, you don’t want them to be embarrassed in front of their colleagues.

Group leaders help stimulate the learners during these activities. You and other staff-development specialists can function as group leaders, or the learners themselves can select a leader from each group. Group leaders need to be sure that all members have a chance to participate and that no one learner dominates the group. They must also:

  • Make sure that the group activity will enhance learning. Don’t include group activities unless they serve a purpose.
  • Sit participants at round tables.
  • Give clear directions, both verbally and in writing. Explain the purpose of the group activity, objectives, and what each group is expected to accomplish and present to the entire class at the end of the activity.
  • Remember that music can help set the tone of the activity. For example, classical music can aid meditative activities and rousing marches can stimulate. Make sure to choose royalty-free music.
  • Avoid giving the impression that you or the group leaders are judging or eavesdropping on the groups.
  • Set the tone by being upbeat and enthusiastic.

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