Group Roles

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Group discussion roles


Call for a volunteer to take on each of these roles.


The facilitator sets the topic and tone of the discussion and guides the conversation. Facilitators should try to make sure everyone who wants to contribute gets a chance to do so, and no one or two people dominates the discussion too much.


The monitor checks on the health of the discussion and helps the facilitator to also participate when necessary. Monitors help keep the discussion balanced. The monitor might also take notes to allow the notetaker to join in too.


The notetaker creates a record of the discussion. Notes will be shared with others or used as the basis for ongoing work. The notetaker should check the notes are accurate, and that everyone is happy to share them.

Make sure to put your notes online, and share the link with all who participated. If it's private - then email it to everyone, but don't share it online.


The timekeeper watches the clock for everyone in the group. Keep time for the session as a whole, but also help everyone have their chance to speak. eg. Let people know their time is up, by saying "Thank you".

These group roles were inspired by the Ada Initiative's Role cards at AdaCamp.

Variations of these appear for many communities. Learning activities, literature circles, activist groups... It's a great idea!