Buzz group

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Alternative names: 
Everybody gets involved
Intent or purpose: 
The purpose of this method is to help maintain interest and to get people involved in something. By discussing and expressing their own thought their learning gets stimulated. Furthermore this method offers information and experiences for the participants on which they can further build on. Another aspect is that it helps the participants to get acquainted with each other.
Used as component of: 
This process is used to activate a group of any size to take part in a process.
Types of Participants: 
Any types of participants can be involved in this process.
Recommended size of group: 
Remarks about group size: 
This method is especially useful in bigger groups, but can be used for any size of group.
Optimal amount of time needed: 
Between five and ten minutes, depending on the topic that should be discussed.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
The output of this process is an involved, energized group or audience as well as an interactive input for the lecture or programme.
Level of participation: 
A high level of participation is needed, as participants need to work in pairs of two.
Ideal Conditions: 
There are no special conditions needed.
Potential Pitfalls: 
One can not control what the pairs are talking about, epecially when working with a bigger group.
How is success evaluated: 
The process is successful when the people are now comfortable with one another, and feel involved in the process.
Examples of successes and failures: 
It is a simple way to ‘neutralise’ people, who dominate the discussion in plenary sessions. Using buzz groups in the beginning of a session helps to create an informal atmosphere.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
A special Facilitator-Client Relationship is not neccesary as the group only needs to be instructed and supervised.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Not set
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
This is a easy method that can be practised by anyone.
Setting and Materials: 
No material is needed or recommended.
Resources Needed: 
There are no additional resources needed.
Pre-Work Required: 
There is no work that needs to be done beforehand.

1. Devide the group into subgroups of two to four people. Do so by asking everybody to turn to their neighbours, without moving from where they are sitting as this is the easiest and quickest way to create groups.
2. Give a simple task or question to them, which can be discussed in 5 to 10 minutes.
3. After completion of this task, ask some groups to report or express their experiences.
4. The outcomes can be used as a starting point for the rest of the programme.

How flexible is the process?: 
The process is very flexible, as it can deal with any topic and in any size of group.
Follow-Up Required: 
There is no follow-up requiered.
Patrick Boel - May, 2006