Article Versions
Export Article
Cite this article
  • Normal Style
  • MLA Style
  • APA Style
  • Chicago Style
Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Using Student Facilitator in Group Working of a Large Class

Duong Que Linh, Phan Minh Huyen , Nguyen Vu Phong Van
American Journal of Educational Research. 2019, 7(4), 313-319. DOI: 10.12691/education-7-4-3
Received January 15, 2019; Revised March 04, 2019; Accepted April 11, 2019

Abstract

In attempt to create more interesting and motivating lessons for university students, and inspiring learners’ autonomy, teachers in Foreign Language Department of Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration (TUEBA), Viet Nam have been working industriously to find out the most appropriate methods matched with teaching context. It, however, has been a trouble with all of them because the number of students in each class is up to 60, even more. Hence, it is such a challenge to conduct their lectures effectively because there is a lack of fully attention from all of their students. The answer for this problem is to use the role of students themselves as facilitators for class activities, which is considered an appropriate solution. Thus, in this paper, the investigation on the effectiveness of this strategy is discussed.

1. Introduction

In a way to find out a solution for improving students’ attention in group work and reducing stress for English teachers in managing groups in large class of 60 students at Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration, the current researcher has turned to a strategy which is called student facilitator and tried to introduced it in her class. The work is focused on answering the question

How does student facilitator help in managing group work in a large class?

1.1. Overview of Facilitator’ Roles

In the field of researching, facilitator is not a new term as it is referred in all fields, particularly in team and group discussion and negotiation. Facilitator is understood as a person, who is responsible for delegating task and monitoring in group performance. As mentioned in Hogan's research 1, facilitator is a person who has a plenty of skills and knowledge about processing and managing a group of people to meet the goal.

As it was introduced to group or teamwork, this role immediately has had its own practical effectiveness because it has been a key component of the group working procedure. The person who is in charge of this position maintains the discussion and urges members to concentrate on the task to quickly reach the objectives 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. In more detail, the facilitator is described as a person who holds many roles such as getting team members comprehending what changes needed to be used in gaining agreement; and interpreting evidence in reality 8. In particular titles, Schwarz 9 names facilitator as a person who fully carries out the task of organiser, moderator, content matter specialist and preceptor. Adding to previous statements, Kolb 6 states, “People called in to facilitate groups may be expected to lead, mediate, train, present new information, make process suggestions, serve as peacemakers, take notes, or simply be there in case their expertise is needed.” (p.207)

As mentioned above, facilitator is required to have a variety of interpersonal and group skills to achieve the desired change. However, the facilitator does not directly contribute thoughts or ideas for the content of group discussion because the focused efforts of facilitator are on how decisions are reached (process) rather than what decision is reached (content). Hence, the role is like an intermediary, who works to assist the process of creation without themselves being the producer of the final result. Therefore, this role is not simply understood as a leader. This involves complex actions, behaviors and efforts.

The challenging internal work of facilitation is to identify and explore the core values and assumptions that guide your action, to rigorously reflect on how they increase or decrease your effectiveness, and to develop a new set of values and assumptions that you can use to increase your effectiveness and that of the groups you work with. ((Roger Schwarz 9), 66)

In brief, the duty of facilitator is multiple which includes monitoring group discussion procedure in which every member has a positive point of view; distributing channels which encourage valuable analysis, plan and negotiation; and supplying with tools or techniques which are easier to come to agreement or reach the goals 10, 11.

For its benefits and features, the use of facilitator in group discussion which is considered to be effective in group management in English classes which are regarded as large size at Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration. This technique is expected to be useful in reducing stress for English teachers in managing such crowded classes.

1.2. Research Context

The research is conducted at Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration, a member of Thai Nguyen University, located in the North of Vietnam. Every year, this university attracts students from different mountainous areas in the North and different schools in some of which English is not taught. Instead, they study French or Chinese. Therefore, students are diversified in terms of level. Mostly, they are familiar with traditional teaching method which teacher-centered is dominant. In addition, after three years of teaching here, the teacher realizes that students are not active in performing their language and concentrating on the lesson when they are required to work in team and group. Besides, the project 2020 of MOET (Ministry of Education and Training) enquires students to gain B1 level before leaving university. For the characteristics of output for economic students, TUEBA has chosen TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) degree to be one of standards for students to get graduation degree. It means that they have to get at least 450 TOEIC score, which is equivalent to B1 level due to CERF (Certification Standard for European Reference) Certificate. This requirement put even more stress on both teachers and students, especially students who are not much interested in learning English.

One more reason which is considered the biggest one is that each English class is crowded with number of students of 60 or more. Crowded classes make English teachers find it challenge to manage all students’ learning activities effectively because they are not able to regularly move around and assist help to individual student. As a result, group works may include personal chatting or activities. Even the teacher voice and instruction are not clearly comprehended by some students with lower level or sitting at the back. Therefore, it makes students feel being ignored. It leads to the ignorance of students on the given tasks.

In the group, the activities are not implemented effectively because of following reasons. Firstly, some students tend to hesitate to ask teacher for the misunderstood requirement. Secondly, the task distribution is not carried out equally for some higher level students may dominate the other in the group. Thirdly, the better students are often the presenters of the group although teacher asks other members to show their performance. These members cannot finish it.

Moreover, there are only three 50-minute English periods a week. It seems to be a little time for students and teachers to meet the demand of school requirements. In addition to the learners’ autonomy is not high for the above reasons, the answer for how this dilemma is solved is still needed to be considered by all stakeholders, teachers and students.

As a result, providing students with role of the facilitator in group wok is expected to be an effective way in managing group work in large class at TUEBA where it is difficult for teacher to pay attention to each student within short time of group work. In addition, it is hoped to involve students in their learning more than previous lessons and motivate them in English learning.

1.3. Introduction of Facilitator to English Class

Although group facilitator is not new in the field of research as mentioned in the works of Baran, E and Correia, A. P. 12, Cragan, J. F., and Shields, D. C. 13, Frey L 11, Hogan C 1, Piere, V., Cheese Brown, D. and Braun, L. M. 10, Thayer –Harb and Nancy 14, this is a new technique in TUEBA English learning lessons. However, using facilitator may not be accepted by teachers and students who are familiar with traditional teaching approach, in which teachers still play the main role, and group management is under the control of teachers. These anticipated problems has led me to implement this research which aimed at investigate how student facilitator technique should be used to help student more active and raise their autonomy. Moreover, what changes need to be adjusted to make it appropriate in the case of TUEBA.

Although there are numerous strategies to deal with problems in group work in English lesson, the selection of facilitator is considered to be suitable for some reasons. At the first place, TUEBA students are quite passive in their learning for the influence of traditional teaching method and their psychology of making mistakes. This technique is a way to encourage them to act more. Secondly, the limitation of time and the overload of work make it difficult for teacher to solve individual problems; then, the use of student facilitators may handle these matters. Thirdly, the students’ ignorance and misunderstanding of the task requirement may be reminded and solved by facilitator who stays closer to these learners. More importantly, all group member’ performance may be monitored; encouraged and facilitated by facilitator hence it is more effective and faster in achieving goals. Thayer- Hart 14 points out different responsibilities of a facilitator in group. Among them, one of their role is to “prevent dominance and include everyone” so the ignorance of team members may be reduced. (p.1)

In order to introduce this technique to participants in the research, the following model of Thayer-Hart, N. 14 is taken in consideration.

Facilitator – Takes responsibility for guiding process of discussion and decision-making. Does not ordinarily engage in meeting content.

Timekeeper – Lets everyone know when time for a given agenda item is almost up and is really up.

Recorder – May write on flip chart or PC/projector or overhead to create a visual record of points being made.

Participant – Share responsibility for: Bringing a runaway conversation back - Encouraging others to participate.

Another group frame taken from Murphy and Dörnyei 15 which includes leader, the organizer, the energizer, the harmonizer, the complainer, the pessimist, the rebel and the clown. (p.110)

Nonetheless, this model is more appropriate for a meeting rather than a group of six, the researcher makes some changes for the suitability for the second year students. In more detail, the roles are named as followed: facilitator, idea contributor 1, idea contributor 2, recorder, presenter, and harmonizer. Their responsibilities are described in the following table:

The research is conducted within 4 lessons in a second-year class, which has 60 students. Teacher divides class in groups of six, which are fixed during the research procedure. However, the role of facilitator is new for students; teacher instructs and models this role before the research is really conducted. The focus of the research is on facilitators, which should be unchanged during the research. For other roles in the given frame, they could be changed for activity diversification

2. Research Method

2.1. Data Collection Methods

For the purpose of the research is to explore the students’ attitude and behaviors toward an innovation applied for their learning for finding the answer for how and why certain phenomena happen, qualitative approach is an appropriate methodology for the research. Besides, the teacher only had only 4 weeks to implement the new teaching technique in class; and the numbers of participant are 14. Therefore, it is a small- scaled research; thus, a qualitative approach seems to be a perfect selection.

In the process of collecting data, three data methods are used basing on their criteria and advantages matching with the objective of the research.

The first data channel is focus group. Dawson 16 refers to focus group as a discussion or interview, involving a group of people discussing a certain matter. After four lessons, all appointed facilitators are asked to take a discussion under the monitoring of researcher in case of some members of the discussion may dominate and there is no submerged opinion 17. The discussion is about issues which are similar to ones in the semi-structured interview, which is presented in the next section. The members of the group are named participant A, B, C.

The second method is observation. The researcher plays as a practitioner in the research who observes and takes note every emerged issue in each lesson of the research. This is an important channel for data collection because teacher can record students’ facial expression, body language and thought, and feeling which may be missed in other data collection methods used in this research. As Birmingham and Wilkinson 18 suggest “How people see and understand their surroundings will no doubt play a part in the ways in which they behave, they act and interact with others, and in the ways their actions are perceived by others. Observation is an extremely handy tool for researchers in this regard. It can allow researchers to understand much more about what goes on in complex.” (p.117)

The third source of data collection is based on interview. Four random students who are not in charge of facilitator are invited to take part in a semi-structured interview. They are encouraged to talk about their perspective of facilitator role in groups. Particularly, the discussed issues are the same with the ones in the discussion in the focus group because the researcher would like to attain more students’ standpoint about the application of innovation. As Dawson (2002) states that this method is seemed to be most widely used in qualitative research because the researcher who would like to discover more specific information comparing to the one collected from other sources finds this method effective. The interviewees are named student 1-2-3-4.

The three data collection methods will be presented in appendices

2.2. Ethical Consideration

During the procedure of research implementation, several ethical issues need to be taken in consideration to avoided unexpected and illegal problems.

The first one is consent form. A consent form is used in asking permission from the stakeholder such as the Head master and the Dean for allowing the researcher to implement this technique in the chosen class and collect data from participant. Another consent form is sent to all students who participate in the research. This is an announcement for what they can do and cannot do. This describes and provides clearly and exactly information about their rights and their duties during the research. The researcher is also the teacher; hence, it is possible to have a barrier among teacher and students. The “power” of teacher may influence the genuine of data because of students’ fear of “hurting” teacher when they tell the truth. Thus, the researcher should remind the participant that the data collected will be only used for research purposes.

Additionally, the interview is taken place in the most natural and free space and environment. If the interviewees are not happy with interviewed questions, they may freely withdraw from it. During the interview, the interviewer also the teacher needs to be friendly to encourage them to fulfill the questions. In the discussion among ten student facilitators, teacher acts as a facilitator, who urges and monitor the discussion in order to avoid unrelated or overlap issues.

When being observed, students may feel uncomfortable or lack of corporation so the researcher must inform the observation purpose and model the observation procedure to make students familiar with what is going on. The observation and interview notes are confirmed to be used for the research purposes only and must be kept in secret. Moreover, interviewed students are addressed by pseudonyms in case of privacy

3. Findings

For the purpose of the research, Grounded Theory which emphasizes on thee generation of theory grounded in the data is applied is the base for the data analysis. As Ary et al. (2013) 19 states “Grounded theory moves beyond description to generate or discover a theory that emerges from the data and that provides an explanation of a process, action, or interaction” (p.463). Due to this theory, after collecting data from methods introduced in previous section and triangulating the datasets, it comes up with the findings as followings.

3.1. The Impact of Facilitator in Group Performance and Dynamic

The first emerging pattern achieved from facilitator role is the time effectiveness. Group facilitators have shown their own role in facilitating group task. As teacher had asked them to work in groups, they immediately delegated the requirement for their group. Within a short of time, each member of the group knew what they have to deal with. As a result, it was easier for them to meet the deadline because group work was done within a short of time in class.

In previous lesson, sometimes I couldn’t understand what requirement teacher asked me to do. I needed to spend some time to ask her or my friends again because I often sat at the back and the class was crowded. However, I have easily understood what I have to do within the group because the facilitator delivers task and monitor clearly and easily to understand. (Student 1)

Because we sit near each other in the group, when the group facilitator tells us what to do, we quickly finish it. (Student 2)

We finished work on time, and even earlier. Most of our performance is good. The results were matched with what the teacher gave. (Student 4)

I was appreciated what our team had done. Teacher gave good comments on our results because they were right and we had many interesting ideas which were said “well done”. (Participant)

Observation from researcher noted that group instruction was faster understood after a short time by facilitators. The discussions were implemented excitingly with the contribution of most of members in group. In comparison with the first observation note of the first innovation application, which revealed students’ concentration was not completely high when there were some group members did personal activities. The second, third and fourth record marked the changes while only one or two cases were caught in their own activities.

The second theme arisen from collected data was on task distribution and members’ responsibilities. With the use of group facilitator, the overlap of work seemed to be reduced. The given task was divided into sub-parts delegated to each members of group. They did on their own first and after that, the review and combination of individual task was more flexible.

Actually, I have good comment on the role of facilitator in showing each of us our task. Each member in the group has our own task within a short of time. After that, we combined and correct what we couldn’t do together. I found it interesting. (Student 4)

In comparison with what I did before, I think it is better when we have a person who always looks after what we are doing. No one can be lazy because he urges us to act regularly. As a result, we cannot ignore task if the teacher could not paid attention like previous lesson. (Student 2)

I asked them to act regularly. When someone is not happy with the discussion, we quickly found out related matter. Then we were comfortable again. (Participant B)

I have no time to take a rest during my team working procedure. They were so eager to debate that sometimes I needed to keep them down. (Participant F)

The teachers’ observation notes have the quite similar comments on the job of each group member. Most of them worked hard and concentrated and the facilitators were responsible for their duty when they often asked their member worked. The group discussions were very exciting and it seemed that everyone wanted to talk. In lesson 2, the topic was about talking about how good is a manager. The number of adjectives describing manager’s characteristic in each went beyond what had introduced in textbook. It can be seen that they contributed their efforts with higher level than before. Even after some group presentations, students asked each other to copy the adjectives they did not have.

In the process of discussion, the role of facilitator had its own impact on monitoring this procedure. Group members had time to talk, listen, debate and come to agreement. The flow of discussion seemed to be smooth and group members were satisfied with this new technique.

We turn by turn talked about our own job then we discussed. It is interesting because we contributed a lot of ideas which could not have if we work individually. (Student 1)

We argued peacefully although we debated each other’s ideas. After discussing, we come to a more deeply understanding about what we have done because we have plenty things to talk. (Student 4)

It was slightly different from what the researcher noted in the observation in lesson 3 about a reading activity. Because the reading passage was quite long and contained new vocabulary, in order to save time, three group facilitators helped looking up the dictionary when their partners were busy on finding the answer. And then, their discussion could not happen because they did not finish the task on time. However, the rest discussion among groups took place under the moderation of facilitator. These three cases happened only in that lesson.

One more emerging theme was on group dynamic. It was interesting when data collected showed that students got closer to each other. As mentioned in the context section, English was a foundation subject so students in each English class were from different faculties in the university. As a result, there were different groups who shared the same faculty in class, and they tended to sit and work together in same places in class. While implementing this research, the researcher randomly chose the members for each group so that some of them did not know each other. However, after four lessons in the research, the group dynamic was reported positively.

I was responsible for a group of members from different classes and we did not know each other very well. I was afraid that when I said, no one would listen to me. But luckily, they behaved politely and friendly. And now, we do not want to change if there are more group activities. (Participant E)

I was appointed to a group in which there was only one sharing the same faculty with me. At first, I was not happy much when facilitator asked me to work regularly. But after that, we got good performance and teachers had good comments on our performance. In the following activities, we got closer and now we are strong team. (Student 3)

For most of other interviewees and participants opinion, they thought that with the facilitation, their group work better and team spirit is stronger. In the observation notes, this theme got the same results.

3.2. Anticipated Problems during the Implementation of the Innovation

Besides positive impacts, some anticipated matters were also recorded in the period of research.

The first concern belonged to facilitators’ language proficiency used in instructing their group members. As noted in all observations, when facilitator did not know how to express the words in English, instead of expressing in another way, they used mother tongue to make it easier in delivering tasks. Although the issue was not mentioned much in focus group but all four interviewees agreed with research’s observation.

Maybe his English ability is not so good that he often instructed us in Vietnamese. Though it was not difficult to understand, I preferred using English. (Student 1)

Not only facilitator, we all use Vietnamese whenever we could not know the words we intended to use. (Student 4)

I sometimes used English in asking our group members, but it was not too much. (Participant A)

In addition to using mother tongue, in the early of facilitation introduction to group, facilitators were a little afraid of what they delegated to members would not be accepted. Although, six of them found it better after the first time, the rest felt stressful when they faced up with this task

I was nervous when teacher asked me to be a facilitator because I was not familiar with being in the position of a leader. But actually, I confused the term “facilitator”. After my first job, although I thought “I can do it; it is not difficult as I thought”. I even felt not much more comfortable when being in this position. (Participant C)

I used to think that facilitator task should be given to monitor or vice monitor. When I was appointed to be a facilitator, I refused because of the fear that no one would do as what I said. Teacher encouraged me a lot and I accepted. No one listened to me. I even shouted at them “shut up!” However, it was better then. But in reality, I was not satisfied with what I did. (Participant D)

Teachers’ observations caught some similar phenomena in three groups while the facilitators monitored the discussion, their voice might not be strong and loud enough for their team members to listen. Two of them looked stressful while the other did nothing and stayed outside the discussion. It was the reason why some group found it impossible for come to the end of a discussion. They complained about the role of facilitator.

Our group failed in the process of agreement, the facilitator did nothing while we discussed. He just listened and asked we talked. He did not conclude what should be or what should not be. (Student 3)

It was the case of facilitator of group 7 in the observation note. He was not able to monitor group discussion. The group members nearly fought each other when they tried their best to protect their idea. Because of the failure of some group discussion, the effectiveness of some group was affected.

We could not finish when time was up because we were not satisfied with each other’s idea. In addition, no one was asked to be in charge of concluding except for facilitator so our result was wrong. (Student 3)

Another encountered matter is the misunderstanding of facilitator’s task even the group work did well. Two of facilitators found it uncomfortable when they were not involved in the discussion content because their role was to manage the contribution of all members. Surprisingly, the two facilitators were not in the group of three facilitators who could not monitor their group discussion as mentioned above. Instead, their work was recorded well in researcher’s notes.

I think my role is redundant when every member talks about the topic, I only listen and appoint each member to contribute their ideas. I have some ideas but I have to time to talk. (Participant E)

My duty is to monitor our group performance so I cannot say about the topic when I want. (Participation F)

Besides the activeness and enthusiastic participation of most of students, the observation still caught some of cases who did not pay attention to the group discussion although the group facilitators had urged them. In the second observation of group 4, a member used mobile phone for surfing Facebook while in group 6 two female group members chatted on their own topic in lesson 4. The facilitators also gave their own feedback about this problem.

One of group members seemed not to corporate with me. When I gave him his task, he did not do anything. When I asked him to do, he ignored it. Except for him, other members stayed focused. (Participant H)

3.3. Students’ Attitude toward Group Facilitator Technique

It seems that the application of facilitator had its effectiveness on the students’ attention while teacher found it difficult to handle before applying this technique. Common phrases and words were emerged from the interview data like “like”, “good”, “done well”, “cooperative”, “get closer” when the interviewees were asked about their emotion of this technique. The data also reflect that most of participants have interest and positive attitude toward this technique for its usefulness and applicable. One respondent said:

I think the role of facilitator is good when we discuss because we don’t have much time in English lesson, and our class is crowded. It is difficult for teacher to come to our seat and check us. The facilitator can do it.

Our group seemed to be more ordered when we turn by turn talked and discussed under the management of facilitator.

In addition to positive feeling with the use of facilitator, several students state that some changes need to be adapted to make this technique more useful.

In my opinion, this strategy should be used but it is effective when the group work is carrying out within longer time.

We have not experienced this technique before so it is strange. We need more training to perform better in this role.

I think this role is useful even in my future job. I will know how to make our group work more effectively but what language should be used to make my voice has power is a problem.

While most of participants are eager with the use of the new technique, one of them disagree with this because the lack of teacher’s role in managing.

We come to class to study with teacher. We do not want to be instructed by students like me. Maybe I need time to get familiar with it.

Although students have different perspective about this technique, most of them thought of it as an effective strategy to make them more engaged in English lessons which they found bored because of the lack of teachers’ attention. The results from three channel data methods validate the active concern and engagement that students have in the use of this strategy. This has been a useful channel to come up with final discussion.

4. Discussion

This research was carried out with the aim of evaluating the effectiveness of applying group facilitator in group discussion with the expectation of involving students in their learning and increasing their learning autonomy. The result of the research shows that the use of facilitation helps students pay more attention in their required task and cooperatively finish it. Most of them agree that, this technique gave them faster comprehension of what they needed to do and the discussion flow runs smoothly and peacefully.

This research supports to the research of Baran and Correia 12 about using student facilitation in online discussion. The study aimed at exploiting the application of facilitation strategies by student to limit the tutor’s dominant monitoring. The findings of the research also pointed out that students were motivated and relaxed when they participated in the discussion. In addition, they could generate innovative ideas and create more comfortable atmosphere. However, this research has filled in the gap of the previous research in the case of face-to-face discussion. The previous one happened online, hence the attitude and facial expression could not be clearly caught by observing like this research.

It can be seen that the students take advantages of this technique in their own learning, particularly in group dynamic. Students are more engaged in their discussion in comparison with when this technique was not used. It is remarked that less students ignored the task and personal chatting seemed to decline. The facilitators, on the other hand, were very responsible for their tasks when they regularly urged their teammate stay focus on their tasks. In addition, the relationship among group members gets closer and most of them satisfied with their team members. Before the introduction of the innovation, when they were appointed to cooperate with other students, who they did not know well in class, they seemed to be uncomfortable and worked individually. Besides, in group discussion it was easy to come to conflict and teacher had to intervene. This phenomenon is reduced considerably when the innovation is applied

Noticeably, most of students show their positive attitude toward the use of this technique in their group working while the contribution of each member in group is encouraged by facilitators. The encouragement of the facilitator makes them feel that they are more important and they desire to devote their thinking. Moreover, the results gained from these group discussions were better and faster than before so students thought it would be applied more.

The innovation of using student facilitator to engage students in their group working and reduce learners’ ignorance and teacher’s stress in a large class has achieved some particular positive impacts on TUEBA students. Due to the findings of the research, it is reported that this strategy can considerably devote more engagement in students’ group working and discussion, improve students’ responsibility for their own learning. Nevertheless, several problems encountered during the implementation of the new technique which are resulted from learners’ language proficiency, skill of self-manage and attitude toward the new technique.

In dealing with these problems, the researcher will recommend several adjustments for another future use of group facilitation technique so that it can be more efficiently explored to provide learners with support in their English learning. As mentioned in students’ opinion about changes to make this technique more appropriate in the real context, the use of group facilitator should be used in dealing with longer time activities. While they work in pairs in short time activities, there is no need.

Regarding the use of mother tongue in facilitator’s instruction, it is better to provide them with useful languages used in giving guideline. According to Rixon, A., McWaters, V., and Rixon, S. 20, facilitators need to have an implicit perspective of how to speak facilitative language. In the next section, the teachers should be carefully take care of group instruction and provide help if they are stuck in language delivering. The training before applying the innovation should be priority and for every student. As a result, this role can be randomly changed to make group work management diversify and every team member has chance to experience being in this position. It may be useful for their career in the future.

For the matter of students’ ignorance in group working, more attention and encouragement from both teacher and group members could be one thing for their later concentration. In case of their rejection and disobedience, several strict rules should be discussed from both teacher and other students to make improvement from them.

Finally yet importantly, raising students’ awareness and attitude toward this new application is the main task of teacher researcher. In order to avoid the students’ suspicion of the positive impact of the technique, related studies and information need to be clearly and carefully instructed to students.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that this new technique attainted its aims because students got involved more in group activities and personal activities are limited by the monitoring of the facilitator. With the help of facilitators, group performance seemed to get better both in result and dynamic. More importantly, students’ relationship is closer and their team spirit is stronger than before.

However, several anticipated problems could be found out during the implementation of group facilitator. Firstly, for the level of language proficiency, the use of mother tongue seems to be popular. Secondly, some facilitator has not been qualified enough to be in charge of all roles of a facilitator. Some of them are not able to manage the group discussion flow and tend to quit from the discussion. As a result, some performance did not achieve necessary results. As stated by some students, they need more training to be more skillful to carry out this task. On the other hand, some of them found this job not interesting and needs time to get familiar with it for the impact of traditional teaching on them. I, as a researcher did not take full responsibility of giving help during group work. This problem will be an objective matter for the following research.

5. Conclusion

The research was conducted to evaluate the impact of group facilitator strategy in engaging students’ English learning in a large class size that put a lot of stress on language teachers, who had little time being with them. By using three methods of data collection for triangulation, it has been revealed that students showed their positive attitude toward this innovation. Particularly, their group dynamic and performance were strengthened and the involvement of student became higher than before.

In order to make this technique more effective and appropriate with different situations and students’ diversification, several adjustment should be made regard to each problem encountered in the implementation. Firstly, teacher should make students aware of importance and roles of facilitator, then train them systematically and widely before making it real. Secondly, some involvement of both teacher and students are discussed to involved students who are not familiar and cooperative with this technique. The frequency use of this technique should be based on the criteria of the activity.

Although there are some anticipated problems during the application of the technique, the findings of this research prove to be useful for stakeholders and teachers, who are seeking for solution for the matter of large class size. Because the researcher is novice, there are some limitations in the research which would be step by step fixed in the near future researches. However, it is hoped that this research has contributed some innovative ideas for the field of research in order to deal with problems of large class size management and group working at universities like TUEBA.

References

[1]  Hogan, C., Understanding facilitation: Theory & principles: Kogan Page Publishers, 2005.
In article      
 
[2]  Evans, P., & Taylor, D., "Staff development of tutor skills for problem-based learning", Medical education, 30(5), 365-366, 1996.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[3]  Maudsley, G., "Roles and responsibilities of the problem based learning tutor in the undergraduate medical curriculum". BMJ: British Medical Journal, 318(7184), 657, 1999.
In article      View Article  PubMed  PubMed
 
[4]  Neville, A. J., "The problem-based learning tutor: Teacher? Facilitator? Evaluator?", Medical teacher, 21(4), 393-401, 1999.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Azer, S. A., "Problem-based learning. A critical review of its educational objectives and the rationale for its use", Saudi medical journal, 22(4), 299-305, 2001.
In article      PubMed
 
[6]  Kolb, J. A., "Initial contracting issues in small group facilitation", Industrial and Commercial Training, 36(5), 207-209, 2004.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Newble, D., & Cannon, R., Handbook for teachers in universities and colleges: Routledge, USA, 2013.
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Kitson, A., Harvey, G., & McCormack, B., "Enabling the implementation of evidence based practice: a conceptual framework", Quality in Health care, 7(3), 149-158, 1998.
In article      View Article  PubMed  PubMed
 
[9]  Schwarz, R., The skilled facilitator: A comprehensive resource for consultants, facilitators, managers, trainers, and coaches, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY: Jossey-Bass, 66, 2002.
In article      
 
[10]  Pierce, V., Cheesebrow, D., & Braun, L. M., "Facilitator competencies: Group Facilitation", A Research and Applications Journal, 2(2), 24-31, 2000.
In article      
 
[11]  Frey, L., Applied communication research on group facilitation in natural settings. Innovations in group facilitation: Applications in natural settings, Cresskill, NJ, Hampton, 1995, 1-23.
In article      
 
[12]  Baran, E., & Correia, A. P., "Student-led facilitation strategies in online discussions", Distance Education, 30(3), 339-361, 2009.
In article      View Article
 
[13]  Cragan, J. F., Frey, L. R., & Shields, D. C., Innovations in group facilitation: Applications in natural settings, Hampton Pr, 1995.
In article      
 
[14]  Thayer-Hart, Nancy. Facilitator tool kit: A guide for helping groups get results. University Of Wisconsin-Madison: Office of Quality Improvement, 2007.
In article      
 
[15]  Murphey, T., & Dörney, Z., Group dynamics in the language classroom, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2003.
In article      
 
[16]  Dawson, C., Practical research methods: a user-friendly guide to mastering research techniques and projects, How To Books Ltd., 2002.
In article      
 
[17]  Dahlberg, L., & McCaig, C. Practical research and evaluation: a start-to-finish guide for practitioners, Sage, 2010.
In article      View Article
 
[18]  Birmingham, Peter; Wilkinson, David. Using research instruments: A guide for researchers. Routledge, 2003.
In article      View Article
 
[19]  Ary, D., Jacobs, L., Sorensen, C., & Walker, D, Introduction to research in education, Cengage Learning, 2013.
In article      PubMed  PubMed
 
[20]  Rixon, A., McWaters, V., & Rixon, S., "Exploring the language of facilitation. Group Facilitation", A Research and Applications Journal, 7, 21-30, 2006.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2019 Duong Que Linh, Phan Minh Huyen and Nguyen Vu Phong Van

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite this article:

Normal Style
Duong Que Linh, Phan Minh Huyen, Nguyen Vu Phong Van. Using Student Facilitator in Group Working of a Large Class. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 7, No. 4, 2019, pp 313-319. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/7/4/3
MLA Style
Linh, Duong Que, Phan Minh Huyen, and Nguyen Vu Phong Van. "Using Student Facilitator in Group Working of a Large Class." American Journal of Educational Research 7.4 (2019): 313-319.
APA Style
Linh, D. Q. , Huyen, P. M. , & Van, N. V. P. (2019). Using Student Facilitator in Group Working of a Large Class. American Journal of Educational Research, 7(4), 313-319.
Chicago Style
Linh, Duong Que, Phan Minh Huyen, and Nguyen Vu Phong Van. "Using Student Facilitator in Group Working of a Large Class." American Journal of Educational Research 7, no. 4 (2019): 313-319.
Share
[1]  Hogan, C., Understanding facilitation: Theory & principles: Kogan Page Publishers, 2005.
In article      
 
[2]  Evans, P., & Taylor, D., "Staff development of tutor skills for problem-based learning", Medical education, 30(5), 365-366, 1996.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[3]  Maudsley, G., "Roles and responsibilities of the problem based learning tutor in the undergraduate medical curriculum". BMJ: British Medical Journal, 318(7184), 657, 1999.
In article      View Article  PubMed  PubMed
 
[4]  Neville, A. J., "The problem-based learning tutor: Teacher? Facilitator? Evaluator?", Medical teacher, 21(4), 393-401, 1999.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Azer, S. A., "Problem-based learning. A critical review of its educational objectives and the rationale for its use", Saudi medical journal, 22(4), 299-305, 2001.
In article      PubMed
 
[6]  Kolb, J. A., "Initial contracting issues in small group facilitation", Industrial and Commercial Training, 36(5), 207-209, 2004.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Newble, D., & Cannon, R., Handbook for teachers in universities and colleges: Routledge, USA, 2013.
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Kitson, A., Harvey, G., & McCormack, B., "Enabling the implementation of evidence based practice: a conceptual framework", Quality in Health care, 7(3), 149-158, 1998.
In article      View Article  PubMed  PubMed
 
[9]  Schwarz, R., The skilled facilitator: A comprehensive resource for consultants, facilitators, managers, trainers, and coaches, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY: Jossey-Bass, 66, 2002.
In article      
 
[10]  Pierce, V., Cheesebrow, D., & Braun, L. M., "Facilitator competencies: Group Facilitation", A Research and Applications Journal, 2(2), 24-31, 2000.
In article      
 
[11]  Frey, L., Applied communication research on group facilitation in natural settings. Innovations in group facilitation: Applications in natural settings, Cresskill, NJ, Hampton, 1995, 1-23.
In article      
 
[12]  Baran, E., & Correia, A. P., "Student-led facilitation strategies in online discussions", Distance Education, 30(3), 339-361, 2009.
In article      View Article
 
[13]  Cragan, J. F., Frey, L. R., & Shields, D. C., Innovations in group facilitation: Applications in natural settings, Hampton Pr, 1995.
In article      
 
[14]  Thayer-Hart, Nancy. Facilitator tool kit: A guide for helping groups get results. University Of Wisconsin-Madison: Office of Quality Improvement, 2007.
In article      
 
[15]  Murphey, T., & Dörney, Z., Group dynamics in the language classroom, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2003.
In article      
 
[16]  Dawson, C., Practical research methods: a user-friendly guide to mastering research techniques and projects, How To Books Ltd., 2002.
In article      
 
[17]  Dahlberg, L., & McCaig, C. Practical research and evaluation: a start-to-finish guide for practitioners, Sage, 2010.
In article      View Article
 
[18]  Birmingham, Peter; Wilkinson, David. Using research instruments: A guide for researchers. Routledge, 2003.
In article      View Article
 
[19]  Ary, D., Jacobs, L., Sorensen, C., & Walker, D, Introduction to research in education, Cengage Learning, 2013.
In article      PubMed  PubMed
 
[20]  Rixon, A., McWaters, V., & Rixon, S., "Exploring the language of facilitation. Group Facilitation", A Research and Applications Journal, 7, 21-30, 2006.
In article