Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nominal Group Technique

Chapter 12 discussed individual and group decision making. When a certain group of people has to come up with a decision, it would be no surprise that we would all assume chaos. To be able to come to a group consensus and to be able to come up with ideas and decisions well, a form of structure is needed. This is where the nominal group technique comes in. The Nominal Group Technique is a decision making process used in a group setting. There is a particular process that needs to be done when using this technique:

1) Understanding the problem
2) Everyone in the group offers ideas to help solve the problem
3) Everyone discusses the ideas and decided whether or not they agree. This is the time they also ask for people’s clarifications.
4) Everyone votes anonymously for their choices

According to research done by Ann McPhail, this technique can also be useful for students. She did a study on how it affected students’ opinions about physical education in their school. The school was having a difficult time with trying to gather the students’ opinions about exercising and what they should do for physical education. The researcher noted, “The quantitative data (rankings) from the NGT format allows the researchers to assess the strength that the statements (qualitative data) had in the pupils’ response to a specific research question. “ In other words, it gave more details about the students’ response. It surprised me how a nominal group technique can be beneficial in a class setting.

MacPhail, A. (2001). Nominal Group Technique: A Useful Method for Working with Young People. British Educational Research Journal , 161-170.

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