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Small-scale group teaching: subgroup formation based on performance

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Published on May 17, 2017

Small-scale teaching is steadily becoming the norm, with traditional lectures losing ground. At the UG, too, ‘learning communities’ are in. These groups have about 12 students and they get to know each other fast. Collaboration is also very smooth, as small-scale teaching promotes interaction between students and with their mentor/lecturer. Friendships are made faster and ‘self-effectiveness’ (belief in their own abilities) increases. This has a positive effect on success rates. Research by Jasperina Brouwer nevertheless reveals that better-performing students gravitate towards each other, as do less well-performing students. This creates the risk of performance segregation, where ‘like seeks like’ applies. This is not always the most strategic choice. The Dutch government has the ambition to enable every student to get the best out of themselves. If we want to develop the potential of every student, more research is needed, particularly on the formation of subgroups based on performance.

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