Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

CLINED 703 - Learning in Small Groups

15 Points

Semester 2


This course explores how clinicians operate as members and leaders of groups, and the conditions underlying effective group function both in education and the workplace.

Aims of the course

The primary aim of this course is to help clinical teachers facilitate learning through small groups. Students will first learn how small groups function and then about methods for facilitating small group learning. The course is practically focused and considers ways of conducting, reflecting upon and evaluating small group activities.

The course encourages students to build on their own experiences and practice with small groups, to consider relevant theories of learning and group dynamics, and to develop new skills that can be applied to their teaching and learning environment.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • describe the function of small groups
  • analyse the roles within teams/groups
  • plan a small group session
  • choose appropriate learning methods for small groups
  • demonstrate skills in facilitation (questioning and feedback)
  • identify problems in groups and apply strategies to
  • improve learning
  • demonstrate a reflective style of teaching and learning
  • undertake appropriate evaluation of small group learning

Course outline

  • Introduction to small group learning
  • Understanding how groups work
  • Planning for group work
  • Learning activities for small groups
  • Facilitating groups
  • Learning in teams
  • Small to large groups
  • Evaluating groups


There are three assignments. All the assignments will relate to the student’s own clinical teaching context.

Learning resources

Students will be provided with an online course guide providing administrative details, some teaching and learning materials/course notes and a reading.  Further resources will be available online.

The recommended course book is:

Jaques D, Salmon G. Learning in Groups: A Handbook for Face-to-face and Online Environments. 4th ed. Oxon: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; 2007.This can be found at the University of Auckland in the General Library on general loan and in the Philson library on general and short loans. 

Course Coordinator

Teaching staff