Group work is extremely rewarding when it works well, and can make the lecturer’s life much easier. However, it can also be experienced as threatening and exposing and may leave students feeling very vulnerable if it is not managed well. In a student consultation exercise undertaken to examine the reasons for poor retention on a particular course at the University of East London, students attributed the high drop-out to ‘whole groups’ just leaving because they were so unhappy with the way the group work had been arranged. It is important to ensure that students are given adequate training and support so that they can experience the benefits of group work.
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