Effective Discussions

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Slides from Shaun Longstreet's presentation for the Teaching Learning and Technology Center at UC Irvine.

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Effective Discussions

  1. 1. LEADING EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS Shaun Longstreet, Ph.D. Friday, February 8, 2008 1
  2. 2. AGENDA Introductions and overview Active learning Socializing your students for class discussion Encouraging prepared students Effective question techniques Friday, February 8, 2008 2
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONS & ACTIVE LEARNING What does active learning mean for you? What do you do to encourage active learning? Friday, February 8, 2008 3
  4. 4. HOW TO DEFINE ACTIVE LEARNING? Move away from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side.” Students engage the material. Dialogues between: self and others self and actions/experiences (or others’ actions/experiences) Friday, February 8, 2008 4
  5. 5. Questions? Friday, February 8, 2008 5
  6. 6. SOCIALIZING DISCUSSION Let’s talk about what it means to socialize our students into class discussions. Friday, February 8, 2008 6
  7. 7. SOCIALIZING DISCUSSION We need to provide orientation We must start early (day one) We need to justify why we do what we do in the classroom Explain how classroom discussion benefits the students Friday, February 8, 2008 7
  8. 8. SOCIALIZING DISCUSSION Having a rubric is important and helpful provide guidelines for active participation create roles (e.g. timekeeper, manager, writer) give tasks and times Friday, February 8, 2008 8
  9. 9. ON-LINE DISCUSSIONS EEE Noteboard, Chat sessions Guidelines are just as important Behavior guides Outline helpful, not so helpful discussions Expectations for participation and types of participation (e.g. answer questions, ask questions) Friday, February 8, 2008 9
  10. 10. SOCIALIZING DISCUSSION Classroom environment Establish a respectful rapport Friendly, familiar space Positive attitude Class time is important Friday, February 8, 2008 10
  11. 11. Exercise Why do we want discussions in our course? When do we want discussions in our course? Friday, February 8, 2008 11
  12. 12. Questions? Friday, February 8, 2008 12
  13. 13. PREPARED STUDENTS It is very difficult to have a class discussion if students are not prepared. Friday, February 8, 2008 13
  14. 14. PREPARED STUDENTS Hold the students accountable Make discussions count toward the final grade Explain relevance of discussion to course objectives Connect preparation with discussion Friday, February 8, 2008 14
  15. 15. LOW STAKES PREP CHECK Low-stakes checks on preparedness Minute paper quiz on index cards On-line surveys and quiz tool Unclear/clear point checks Be sure to follow up and follow through Friday, February 8, 2008 15
  16. 16. Questions? Friday, February 8, 2008 16
  17. 17. EFFECTIVE QUESTIONS Questions comprise a critical component to the creation of an environment conducive to good class discussion. Friday, February 8, 2008 17
  18. 18. NOT SO EFFECTIVE Yes/No questions “Do you understand?” Fact checks, dead-ends Overly broad questions Rhetorical questions On-the-spot questions Serial, unrelated Confrontational questions questions. Fuzzy subjects Multiple questions Friday, February 8, 2008 18
  19. 19. EFFECTIVE QUESTIONS Rely on sufficient waiting times. count to at least 5 before restating the question If an incorrect response, try to avoid directly saying so: instead ask why she/he came to that answer throw the question to the class posit an issue that might be a problem for that response Friday, February 8, 2008 19
  20. 20. EFFECTIVE QUESTIONS Good places to start: Start with a case, an example, or a problem Try evaluative questions Try comparative questions Lead students to weigh options or issues in their readings Friday, February 8, 2008 20
  21. 21. POSITIVE ENGAGEMENT Treat student responses positively. Be aware of how you respond to individuals. Be aware of the public performance issue, work hard to avoid embarrassing students. Chastising almost always fails. Friday, February 8, 2008 21
  22. 22. READINGS PACKET Readings on effective questioning and listening. (Nilson, McKeachie, Hanson) Classroom management and facilitating. (McKeachie & Walvoord) Sample class guidelines, rubrics. (Walvoord) Friday, February 8, 2008 22
  23. 23. Questions? Friday, February 8, 2008 23
  24. 24. LEADING EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS Shaun Longstreet, Ph.D. Friday, February 8, 2008 24

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