What are Different Types of Group Discussion?

What are Different Types of Group Discussion?

8 mins read11.9K Views Comment
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Nov 10, 2023 11:05 IST

Group discussions can factual, where participants discuss babe categorized into 4 types: Factual, Opinion-Based, Case-Studies and Abstract. Factual is based on verified information; opinion-based, which revolves around personal viewpoints; case study, where a specific case is analyzed in detail; and abstract, which involves discussing topics with a broader scope and open-ended interpretations. These categories help in structuring the discussion and guiding the flow of ideas effectively.


Group discussions are an effective way to exchange ideas, share perspectives, and explore different viewpoints. They are of different types, each with its own unique purpose and structure. For instance, a case study-based discussion, where participants analyze a real-world scenario, like the Volkswagen emissions scandal, and explore its implications. On the other hand, abstract discussions focus on exploring broader concepts, such as the impact of automation on employment. Whatever the type, group discussions offer a collaborative and engaging way to learn and grow while also building important communication and teamwork skills. So, let’s explore various types of Group Discussion. Here we go!

Table of Content

Definition of Group Discussion

Group discussion is a form of communication where individuals come together to discuss a specific topic or issue. It is usually structured and facilitated by a moderator or group leader, allowing participants to express their ideas, opinions, and perspectives.

Types of Group Discussion

  1. Factual Group Discussion
  2. Opinion-Based Group Discussion
  3. Case-Study Based Group Discussion
  4. Abstract Group Discussion

Must read: Difference between Group Discussion and Debate

Factual Group Discussion

A factual group discussion is a formal discussion where participants exchange information and facts on a particular topic. The discussion focuses on presenting and analyzing objective data and information rather than subjective opinions or personal experiences.

Factual group discussions can be used in various settings, such as academic institutions, research organizations, and business meetings. They are particularly useful when decision-making is based on factual data and analysis, such as in scientific research or policy-making.

Factual Group Discussion Topics

  • Should plastic bags be banned? Discuss the environmental impact of plastic bags and the effectiveness of alternative solutions.
  • Is renewable energy future? Discuss the advantages and limitations of renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the global economy. Discuss the pandemic’s short- and long-term economic effects on businesses, industries, and individuals.
  • Should euthanasia be legalized? Discuss the ethical considerations and arguments for and against euthanasia.
  • The impact of social media on mental health. Discuss the correlation between social media usage and mental health issues and the measures one can take to address this problem.
  • The future of space exploration. Discuss exploring space’s potential benefits and challenges, including space tourism, colonization, and scientific research.
  • The benefits and drawbacks of online education. Discuss the impact of online learning on traditional education, the accessibility of education, and the effectiveness of online learning.
  • The impact of artificial intelligence on the job market. Discuss the potential effects of automation and AI on the job market and the measures we can take to mitigate negative impacts.
  • The effects of globalization on culture. Discuss the impact of globalization on culture, including the spread of popular culture and the loss of traditional cultures.
  • The ethics of animal testing. Discuss the ethical considerations and arguments for and against animal testing and the potential alternatives to animal testing.

Opinion-Based Group Discussion

In an opinion-based group discussion, participants share and exchange their opinions, thoughts, and experiences on a particular topic. The focus is on personal viewpoints rather than objective facts or data.

Opinion-based group discussions are commonly used in various settings, such as educational institutions, community gatherings, and social media platforms. They are particularly useful when individuals have different perspectives or experiences and want to share and learn from each other.

Opinion-based Group Discussion Topics

  • Which is better, watching movies in theatres or at home?
  • Should schools have mandatory dress codes?
  • Is social media making us more disconnected from each other?
  • Should college education be free for all students?
  • Should governments be allowed to access citizens’ personal data in the name of national security?
  • Is it better to have a small circle of close friends or a large network of acquaintances?
  • Should companies be held responsible for the environmental impact of their products and operations?
  • Should smoking be banned in public places?
  • Is it important for people to learn a second language?
  • Is it better to work for a large company or a small startup?

Case Studies Based Group Discussion

A case studies-based group discussion is where participants analyze and discuss a specific case study. The case study can be based on real-life events, hypothetical scenarios, or both. The discussion focuses on analysing the case study, identifying the problem or issue, and proposing potential solutions or courses of action. 

Case studies-based group discussions are commonly used in educational settings, such as business schools, law schools, and medical schools. They are also used in professional settings, such as management consulting and law firms, to simulate real-life scenarios and to develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Case Studies Based Group Discussion Topics

  • The Volkswagen emissions scandal: What ethical considerations were overlooked and how could the company have handled the situation differently?
  • The BP oil spill: What environmental and social impacts did it have, and what lessons can be learned from this disaster?
  • The Flint water crisis: What were the root causes of the crisis, and how could it have been prevented?
  • The United Airlines passenger removal incident: What could the company have done differently to handle the situation, and how can other airlines avoid similar incidents?
  • The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal: What ethical considerations were overlooked, and how can social media companies better protect users’ data?
  • The Theranos scandal: What led to the company’s downfall, and what lessons can be learned from this case?
  • The Boeing 737 MAX crashes: What were the root causes of the crashes, and what steps could the company have taken to prevent them?
  • The Enron scandal: What led to the company’s collapse, and what lessons can be learned about corporate fraud and unethical behaviour?
  • The Johnson & Johnson talc powder lawsuits: What ethical considerations were overlooked, and what impact did the lawsuits have on the company and its reputation?
  • The Uber workplace culture scandal: What led to the toxic workplace culture at Uber, and what steps can other companies take to avoid similar issues?

Abstract Group Discussion

Abstract group discussion is where participants are given a broad and general topic without any specific details or constraints. The purpose of this type of discussion is to encourage participants to think creatively and critically and to explore different perspectives and ideas. Unlike other group discussions, abstract group discussions do not have a specific problem or issue to solve but rather an overarching theme or concept. 

Abstract group discussions are often used in creative fields, such as design thinking, innovation, and ideation sessions. They are also used in academic settings, such as philosophy or literature courses, to encourage critical thinking and analysis.

Abstract Group Discussion Topics

  • The impact of automation on employment: Will robots and AI ultimately replace human workers, and how can society adapt to this shift?
  • The rise of social media influencers: What impact are they having on traditional advertising models, and what are the ethical considerations of influencer marketing?
  • The future of transportation: From self-driving cars to hyperloops, what technological advancements shape how we travel, and its implications.
  • Mental health in the workplace: How can employers create supportive environments and reduce stigma around mental health issues, and what role should governments play in promoting mental health?
  • The ethics of gene editing: Should we be using CRISPR to eliminate genetic diseases or to create “designer babies”, and what are the potential consequences of manipulating human DNA?
  • The impact of climate change on global food systems: How will rising temperatures and changing weather patterns affect agriculture and food security? Additionally, what we can done to mitigate these effects?
  • The future of work: Will we see a shift towards remote work and the gig economy, and how can workers and employers adapt to these changes?
  • The rise of renewable energy: How can we accelerate the transition to clean energy sources, and what challenges must be overcome to make this a reality?
  • The role of technology in education: How can technology be used to enhance learning and improve educational outcomes. Also, what are the potential downsides of relying too heavily on technology in the classroom?
  • The ethics of artificial intelligence: How can we ensure that AI is developed and used in ethical and beneficial ways for society? Moreover, what are the risks of creating more intelligent machines than humans?


Group discussions can take various forms, including factual, opinion-based, case study, and abstract discussions, each fostering a unique dialogue and analysis. These diverse formats facilitate rich and multi-dimensional conversations, encouraging participants to approach topics from different angles and perspectives, thereby enhancing the depth and breadth of the discussion. It’s a versatile tool in both educational and corporate settings, fostering critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving.


What are the different types of group discussions?

The primary types of group discussions are factual, opinion-based, case study, and abstract. Each type has a distinct focus, ranging from data-driven discussions to analyzing specific cases or exploring open-ended, abstract topics.

How do factual and opinion-based group discussions differ?

Factual group discussions are centered around concrete data and verified information, where participants discuss known facts about a topic. In contrast, opinion-based discussions revolve around personal viewpoints and beliefs, where participants express their opinions on a subject, which may not necessarily be backed by data.

What is a case study group discussion and how is it conducted?

A case study group discussion involves analyzing a specific case or scenario in detail. Participants are expected to dissect the case from various angles, considering different perspectives and proposing solutions or insights based on the information provided in the case.

Can you give examples of topics for an abstract group discussion?

Absolutely, topics for abstract group discussions could include themes like "The concept of time", "The color red", or "The idea of infinity". These topics are open-ended and encourage participants to think creatively and explore various interpretations.

How should one prepare for the different types of group discussions?

Preparation involves understanding the nature of the discussion type, researching the topic thoroughly, and formulating well-rounded arguments. For factual discussions, focus on gathering accurate data, while for opinion-based, hone your argumentation skills. For case studies, practice analyzing cases critically, and for abstract discussions, work on expanding your creative thinking.

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About the Author
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content

Chanchal is a creative and enthusiastic content creator who enjoys writing research-driven, audience-specific and engaging content. Her curiosity for learning and exploring makes her a suitable writer for a variety ... Read Full Bio


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