Analyzing Group Discussions

Below are several video examples of group discussions. Although, I have plenty of opinions about these examples, I prefer to hear your feedback about these examples. Take a look at the list of critical thinking questions, then watch any video from this post. While watching the video note down answers to the questions. These questions will help you analyze group discussions as well as help you to look at yourself, and the roles you normally play in a group discussion. Once you can identify your own strengths and challenges in terms of group discussions, it's time to get to the task of self-improvement. The skills for successful group discussions are not only important for college entrance and job interviews, but for building good relationships in everyday life with friends, family, and even colleagues. 

For each video, answer these questions: 
  1. A discussion is nothing but a conversation. Are any of the groups having a conversation? Provide details to back up your answer.  
  2. Do any characters in the GD use conversational connectors
  3. Are there particular phrases or words that are considered more respectful? List those.
  4. Which words or phrases are disrespectful to others? List those.
  5. Are people using critical thinking skills or simply shouting out their viewpoints? Which approach works better for a group discussion?
  6. How are others included in the discussion? What do they do to gain visibility? 
  7. Is there anyone who speaks better than others? What qualities do they have that you would like to have in yourself?
  8. Are any of the participants in the GD listening? Provide details to back up your answer. 
  9. Do any participants use eye contact? How does eye contact effect communication? 
  10. Which participants are strong? Provide details to back up your answer. 
  11. Which participants are weak? Provide details to back up your answer.
  12. Some believe that part of a successful group discussion lies in the how the moderator coordinates the session. Do you feel the moderator has coordinated the discussion well. Why or why not?
  13. Which feedback from the moderator did you agree or disagree with? (if you heard it/read it?)
  14. Do you notice any character in these videos that closely resembles you? If yes, what about that character is like you?
  15. If you are unable to identify one character that is like you, which characteristics do you possess had by any of the characters in the video? Note any and all characteristics whether they are perceived to be strong characteristics for group discussions or weak characteristics for group discussions?
For questions that require examples, please quote conversation directly from the video when needed, and give the time stamp. (2 min, 30 sec, for instance.)

These questions will help you think critically about the GD. Critical thinking skills are also used in the GD. Please choose any video from below to answer the questions. Most of the videos below are of group discussions held in India. 

The group discussion is between 1:40 - 19:00, about 17 minutes.

(This video is not produced by Authentic Journeys.) 


The group discussion takes place throughout the whole video, 12 minutes.
(This video is not produced by Authentic Journeys.)


This video is highly scripted. The GD takes place between 2:45 - end, about 18 minutes.
(This video is not produced by Authentic Journeys.)



This last discussion is between American English teachers. Discussion is found between 1:15 - 4:42 (about 3.5 minutes).
(This video is not produced by Authentic Journeys.) 


For more of a basic discussion, tips and advice for the GD, click here.


Jenifer Kumar, a communication expert, helps Indians to communicate more effectively through innovative coaching exercises and group role plays. For more information see her website, by clicking here.

Networked blogs link: http://networkedblogs.com/ObII1

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