According to Johnson and Johnson
(1998, p.84), “a process is an identifiable sequence of actions or events taking place over time aimed at achieving a given goal.” Under these circumstances, group processing refers to the group members’ reflection on their work and their interactions, focusing on refining and improving their efforts to achieve the group’s goals and ensure positive, effective working relationships. Johnson, Johnson, and Holubec (1998) stated the purposes of group processing:
One very important aspect of group processing is the fact that processing is preceded by teacher monitoring. Monitoring includes these steps:
Once the lesson is over, students should process all the aspects of their joint work. It is the teacher’s responsibility to structure group processing by (a) “setting aside time for students to reflect on their experiences in working with each other” and (b) “provide procedures for students to use in discussing group effectiveness.” By doing so, students assess their work together to “describe what member actions were helpful and unhelpful in contributing to the joint efforts to achieve the group’s goals” as well as “to make decisions about what actions to continue or change” (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1998).
Group processing occurs at the small-group and whole-class levels. Whole class processing is recommended in addition to small-group processing. The advantages of whole class processing are: observations can be shared by everybody in the class and all the observations collected by the student observers can be put together (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1998).
Each level comprises four parts of processing
Feedback: “You ensure that each student and each group and the class receives (and gives) feedback on the effectiveness of taskwork and teamwork.”
Reflection: “You ensure that students analyze and reflect on the feedback they receive.”
Improvement goals: “You help individuals and groups set goals for improving the quality of their work.”
Celebration: “You encourage the celebration of members’ hard work and the group’s success.” (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1998, p7:4).