What Discussion Groups Do

A discussion group is a group of individuals, who share a similar interest, and gather either formally or informally to discuss ideas about such interest. They attempt to proffer solutions to problems, interact and make comments.

Members of a discussion group can converse by meeting in person, conducting conference calls, using text messaging, or using a website such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Zoom and so on.

In a discussion group, people can respond, add comments, and make posts about topics being discussed. Other group members could choose to respond by posting text or images. Discussions are creative and dynamic activities that stimulate reflective thinking among the members of a discussion group.

Discussions groups are usually unstructured and less formal, unlike meetings or conferences where specific roles are assigned to the participants. An individual’s thoughts and opinions are influenced by the views and opinions of the other members or by where and in which direction the mood of the discussion goes.

In a discussion group, each participant is free to speak his or her views. A successful discussion group is one in which members are actively involved. It is also one in which there is mutual respect and understanding of members’ views, opinions, backgrounds and so on.

Some characteristics of a discussion group include interaction among the various members of the group, active participation of members, enforcement of pre-defined and established standards, and the encouragement of healthy conflict to stimulate members to find solutions to problems.

Discussion groups are beneficial to individuals and the larger society. Interactions lead to the discovery of a solution to an issue of concern. The discussions can generate new ideas or new approaches to solving a problem.

Also, being involved in a discussion group provides a deeper understanding of a subject, improves the ability to think critically, provides different approaches to solving a problem, and offers an opportunity to hear the opinions of other persons or show you things from a different perspective.

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