The Handbook for Economics Lecturers

Small group teaching in practice often lacks behind its potential. Working with only a small group of students opens up various possibilities to create a learning environment where students can follow a more individual learning journey and actively engage in the learning process. This mode of teaching can be extremely fulfilling. At the same time it is demanding, as interaction also means unpredictability. Planning small group teaching sessions carefully is vital, even if one teaches in a fairly standard form using for example question sheets.

The chapter has suggested various activities to increase interactivity in the classroom. There are of course many more resources out there reflecting on small group teaching or providing material to be used in small group teaching. Our aim is to suggest some teaching ideas that can make small group teaching sessions more interactive and student focused. Readers may also want to engage with the wider literature on small group sessions such as Strawson et al (2013) or Tiberius (1999).

While in large classroom settings instructors may find it difficult to know all students’ faces and names, small group sessions can help to bring the learning journey to a more personal and individualised level. This is not just beneficial for the learning outcomes of the student but also a much more fun way to engage with students, for hopefully both the student and the instructor.