Wednesday, 02 May 2012 08:00

Buzz Groups

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Buzz Groups Young adult students in class © 2012 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

For the buzz group activity, learners are broken up into to small groups and presented with a problem or topic. In order to arrive at a resolution, they learners might discuss, brainstorm or research the issue at hand. In order to disseminate information and ideas, one learner from each group presents their findings to the rest of the class.


  • Quiet/shy learners are sometimes more comfortable sharing their ideas in a smaller group
  • Provides learners the opportunity to lead
  • Multiple problems/topics can be discussed at the same time
  • Varied ideas and approaches to problems/topics are considered

Instructor’s role:

  • Clearly define the groups, tasks, and time limits
  • Help groups to define their roles (leader, recorder, reporter, etc.)
  • Float around the room and assist by answering questions or guide a conversation
  • Set a time limit
  • Facilitate class discussion after findings are shared (if necessary)
  • Define what action will be taken after findings are shared

Learner’s Role:

  • Brainstorm, discuss, or research solutions or topic
  • Respect group members contributions
  • Make decisions on how to use the information
  • Report to the rest of the class

Watch this video to see Buzz Groups in action.


Pattison, P., & Day, R. (2006). Instruction Skills Workshop (ISW) Handbook for Participants. Vancouver: The Instructional Skills Workshop International Advisory Committee.

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Christie Robertson

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