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Active Learning | Discussions
Discussion activities assess how well students can formulate their ideas and communicate them. Unlike large classroom discussions, these approaches place students in smaller groups to provide a structure for participation and opportunities to formulate and gather their thoughts, share and develop ideas with others, and rehearse their thoughts in a safer environment. Instructors can use these approaches to evaluate how well students recall, synthesize, and apply information in responding to a discussion prompt.
|Students discuss course-related questions informally in small groups of peers.
|Generating lots of information and ideas in a short period in preparation for and improvement of class discussions.
|Student groups take turns discussing a given topic while being observed by the other groups.
|Encouraging all students to participate, reflecting on the qualities of good discussions, and encouraging strong discussion and listening skills.
|Students generate ideas and speak in order, moving from one student to the next.
|Providing students a structure to engage in brainstorming sessions and ensuring all students participate equally in a discussion.
|Students participate in a group discussion and surrender a token each time they speak.
|Ensuring equitable participation during class or group discussions.
|Students think individually for a few minutes, then discuss and compare their responses with a partner, and finally, share their results with the entire class.
|Preparing students to participate more fully and effectively in whole-class discussions.
|Students interview each other and report what they learn to another pair.
|Helping students network and improve listening, questioning, and communication skills.
Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 152.
*Louisiana State University. Active Learning While Physical Distancing. URL: https://go.wisc.edu/03oyks.