Monday, April 22, 2013

Facilitating Effective Classroom Discussion

Do you struggle with keeping your online discussions fresh and enticing? Students are much more likely to participate actively in discussions, online and face-to-face, if the facilitator follows a few guidelines. This does not mean you should "control" the discussion but it is important to participate (so students know you value their comments) and guide the discussion.
posted her tips for facilitating effective classroom discussions in the Teaching Professor Blog. Her article, Facilitating Effective Classroom Discussion, the Devil is in the Details, provides several tips that apply to online as well as face-to-face classroom discussion. I feel it will be easier to implement her tips in the online environment because one has the opportunity to consider more fully a response.Among others, the author suggests the facilitator consider:
  • Is the discussion losing steam? If so, how might it be re-energized?
  • Is it time for a summary? Do the main points need to be sorted out of the morass?
  • Where did the discussion start, where is it now and where does it still need to go?

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