While “good” discussions can be a powerful tool for encouraging student learning, successful discussions rarely happen spontaneously. Preparing ahead of time will help you delineate a clear focus for the discussion and set well-defined parameters. This will enable the class to address important topics from multiple perspectives, thus increasing students’ curiosity for, and engagement with, course content.
You know you’re having a good discussion when…
“…students who are typically quiet, participate. Drawing out tensions and contradictions of the readings, enabling debate and productive discomfort. One where I don’t have to prompt too much once it gets going.”
Rebecca Aanerud , Lecturer, Dean, Graduate School
“…students not only grasp the basics of the subject matter but are able to carry on a sophisticated conversation about the nuances and implications.”
Professor Ray Nicola, School of Public Health
CIDR Teaching and Learning Bulletins
A collection of short papers on pertinent teaching and learning topics with practical suggestions and resources. Search for a topic of interest HERE.
- Facilitate with Intention, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Texas-Austin
- Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom, by Lee Warren, Derek Bok Center for Teachign and Learning, Harvard University.
- Brookfield, S. D., & Preskill S. (1999). Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.