Group size

Group size is an important consideration, especially when planning an assessment task, or when dealing with new students or those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. If class size and availability of resources permit, the ideal group size is four to five students. This allows:

  • diversity of group members and cohesion within the group
  • ease of planning and management for students
  • visibility of all students and therefore accountability in contributions
  • less chance of group fragmentation
  • easier collective decision making
  • meaningful contributions by group members.

If the group is too large, students may have problems with:

  • coordination and management
  • fair workload distribution and ‘free-riding’
  • establishing working relationships with one another.

If the group is too small, any reduction in numbers can disadvantage others.