One of alternative way for getting the effectiveness in teaching and learning is implementing buzz group technique, it belongs to group work. Brown (2001: 177) assumes that group work is a general term covering a variety of techniques in which two or more students are assigned a task that involves collaboration and self-initiated language. It is also important to know that group work usually implies small group that consist of four – six students. By doing group works the students have more opportunities to exchange the information. It means that group work is a way for acknowledging and utilizing individual students’ additional strengths and expertise with a small group of students exploring a topic in limited time frame and their opportunities for their collaborative product.
Gale (1974: 6) states that there are some group work objectives in teaching learning. First, group work makes possible co-operative than competitive learning for the emphasis on group task and group achievements. Second, group work makes possible a bigger amount of individual participation that occurs in the class teaching situation. Third, children in discussion group have a chance to improve their speaking and listening skills. Fourth, a polling of resources occurs, so that extensive projects can be carried out. Fifth, a group work facilities and promotes social development for the students and it can be intellectually stimulating.
Above reasons are also strengthened by Lindgren (1972: 305-306). He said that in large class there are tendency for a few students to dominate and for the other members of the class to participate only occasionally or not at all. The teacher can get wider degree of participation by calling on nonparticipants. Buzz group are also helpful as warm up device. Some classes have difficulty in getting started on their discussion, perhaps because the class members are shy, or perhaps they are afraid to say something that might be wrong. Buzz group also help classroom group to become involved in a new subject. Perhaps the group thinks it has no interest in, say, high way safety. But if they have a chance to break into small group to discuss the subject “what can we do to make our highway safer? Then it will be developed in larger group.
Mason (1992: 13) also said that buzz groups is the way to respond some problem by making the participants in small groups. Responses are listed and common responses are selected for discussion by the participants as a whole. A representative of each small group then reports briefly to the other participants. Besides that buzz group or session, according to Carpenter (1967: 7) is a technique for involving every member of large audience directly in the discussion process.
Buzz groups was first used by Dr. Donald Phillips at Michigan State University. He would divide his large classes into six-member clusters and ask them to discuss a certain problem for six minutes. It was not long until the new approach became known on campus as the “Phillips 66” technique. Now the use of buzz groups is quite popular, and varying formats and arrangements have been introduced to add a great deal of flexibility to this type of discussion teaching.
Tetsuro (1999: 156) said that buzz learning or group is cooperative learning theory of how to teach using small groups. It focuses in the premise that the best of learning depends on the interactive of human relationship of the learners. It was introduce as the solution to worsen education circumstances in which the students showed no interest in learning and did not participate in it.
Kowski and Eitington (1976: 65) stated that buzz group is the most powerful form of group learning because a great deal of participation is obtained. It is permit participation from many people by breaking the large group into small sub-group of four or five people each. Each buzz group thus discusses a particular problem, develops a point of view, or prepared questions. The results of this sub-group discussion are reported to the full group by representative (leader or recorder) of each group.
Therefore it can be concluded that buzz group can be applied whenever a large assembly of people is divided into small groups (usually of no less than three and no more than eight) which for a limited time simultaneously discuss separate problems, develops a point of view, or prepared questions. One of representative from each of the group’s reports their findings to the large group.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buzz Group
Buzz group teaching takes advantage of that significant interaction in teaching principle.
a. An increase in student participation and engagement.
b. Provides a method or process for checking on misunderstandings.
c. Provides a method for generating ideas.
d. Allows students to learn from one another.
e. In the small group, however, the threat is minimized, and people find it easier to express themselves and share their understanding of scriptural issues.
f. Do not forget the factor of leadership development. Although the roles of group leader and recorder-reporter may not seem very significant at the time, this exposure to the sharing of responsibility for the effectiveness of the class is an important ingredient in the process of training class members to be leaders themselves.
In other way, buzz group teaching also takes disadvantages in teaching and learning interaction.
a. Buzz groups also take time
b. Members of group may not stick to the topic and may just waste time.
c. Aggressive students may monopolize the group.
Gangel shows some principles for Effective Buzz Groups. In doing this technique, the teacher will have to carefully observe some basic principles which facilitate the effectiveness of buzz group teaching.
a. Plan the class time to allow for moving chairs, explaining the technique, and hearing reports. These items will usually take longer time than we anticipate.
b. Make clear to the class what the roles of group leader and recorder should be. This is done before the entire group so that everyone will know how he is to react to the leader and recorder in his group.
c. Set a definite time limit for discussion. The general tendency is to think that groups will be able to do more in a certain amount of time than they can actually handle effectively
d. The teacher should “float” from group to group to motivate better involvement, help them over any hurdles, and generally spread enthusiasm around the room.
Procedure of Buzz Group in Teaching
There are many experts showing the procedure of buzz group. One of them is Renner (2011). He presents some steps how to use buzz group in teaching and learning. The steps are as follows:
a. Explain the procedure
b. Form buzz groups with specific directions – ‘’turn to the people sitting near you”, or “get together with someone you know the least”.
c. Describe the task, writing it on an overhead, so it is in plain view throughout the discussion so groups can refer to it to stay on track.
d. Specify a time limit – four to six minutes are typical time spans for small tasks.
e. Ask for recorders to be selected by the groups.
f. Recommend a process of introduction and information sharing within the group.
g. Monitor the process, circulating from group to group.
h. Act as timekeeper, announcing “half-way through’ or ‘two minutes remaining’ remembering to be flexible!
i. Invite the recorders to report, posting the summary sheets as you go along.
j. Process the information. If you want peoples input, you need to acknowledge their contributions and then act on them.
The other expert is Lesmeister (2012). She proposes some steps to conduct buzz group teaching learning process. The teacher or facilitator needs to:
a. Divide a large group into smaller groups (3-5)
b. Pose a question or topic
c. Allow a limited time ( 5 minutes for a simple topic or 10 minutes for a more complex topic)
d. Allow small group discussion to be valuable in its own right
e. Ask each group to report (1-2) key thoughts from their discussion
By adapting those steps, here the researcher formulate the steps of buzz group in teaching listening. They are:
a. The teacher defines topic.
b. The teacher asks students to make groups. One group consists of 6 students
c. The teacher explains the activity that they will do.
d. The teacher gives the work sheet to each group.
e. The students do the worksheet and discuss it in group.
f. After discussing their worksheet, each group should present their work in front of the class in the presentation.
g. Another group gives comments and corrections.
h. The teacher also gives feedback.
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