In this session format, students work together in small groups (2-4) to examine materials. Typically, students have a worksheet or set of questions to consider as their group explores objects. At the end of the session, each group reports to the class about what they discovered or learned.
This format is well-suited to maximizing the benefits of collaborative learning as students work together to develop ideas about the materials they examine. It is particularly valuable for allowing students to delve into materials with the help of their classmates. Group work sessions are easily adjustable for any class duration.
There are several common variations of this session format. First, the number of objects each group has to examine can be one object or several. For example, each group might have a book, a single document, several books, a book and selected documents, a folder of documents, or a box of documents. The quantity of objects depends on how deeply the instructor wants each group to dive into the materials.
Second, in these sessions groups can rotate among materials similar to the individual rotations in speed-dating session. In this instance, the number of materials displayed is equal to the number of groups, and students spend a set amount of time at each station.