How to design and deliver a small group teaching session
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

How to design and deliver a small group teaching session

Jacqueline Harley Programme manager, Higher Education Department, Government of Jersey Health and Community Services, St Helier, Jersey

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand how small group teaching sessions can assist participants to learn new knowledge and skills

  • To learn how to plan a small group teaching session by setting aims and learning outcomes

  • To appreciate the importance of assessing participants’ learning and addressing gaps in their understanding throughout the delivery of small group teaching sessions

Rationale and key points

Small group teaching sessions are commonly used in healthcare to deliver education, provide practice updates and support continuing professional development. Such sessions can provide opportunities for participants to acquire new knowledge, foster peer relationships, consolidate learning and develop skills. This article provides a step-by-step guide for nurses and other healthcare professionals on designing and delivering a small group teaching session.

• A small group teaching session requires considered, detailed and methodical preparation.

• When designing a small group teaching session, it is important to determine its aims, learning outcomes, group characteristics, location and timeframe.

• A well-planned small teaching session includes learning activities that are constructively aligned to the aims and intended learning outcomes.

• Assessing participant learning and addressing gaps in their understanding is essential during the delivery of small group teaching.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help to update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

• How this article could improve your practice when designing and delivering a small group teaching session.

• How you could use this information to educate your colleagues on small group teaching methods.

Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2023.e2100

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Harley J (2023) How to design and deliver a small group teaching session. Nursing Management. doi: 10.7748/nm.2023.e2100


Please note that information provided by Nursing Management is not sufficient to make the reader competent to perform the task. All clinical skills should be formally assessed according to policy and procedures. It is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure their practice remains up to date and reflects the latest evidence

Published online: 30 August 2023

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