- Slides: 21
TEACHING TUTORIALS: LEADING ENGAGING DISCUSSIONS GSR 989 Philosophy and Practice of University Teaching Tuesday February 4 th 2014
TODAY’S OBJECTIVES: Outline verbally the benefits and possible pitfalls of discussion-based teaching and learning. Recognize and compose thoughtful study questions in order to prepare students for class discussion. Appraise and propose discussion guiding strategies useful to your own classroom practice and specific to your discipline.
1. PRE-ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS: THINK-PAIR-SHARE What are some of the problems associated with teaching by discussion? What are some of the benefits? Do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Why? As a student, have you found discussion-based classes a positive learning experience? Have you used discussion based teaching in your classroom? Was it a positive teaching experience for you? Why or why not?
2. SETTING THE CONTEXT FOR DISCUSSION Before effective group or classroom discussion can take place, the instructor(s) and students need to be on the same page in regards to the following: 1. Why small/large group discussion is an effective learning and teaching tool 2. What elements need to be in place for an effective discussion to take place
2. SETTING THE CONTEXT FOR DISCUSSION We addressed this first question—why group discussion is effective—in the Pre-Assessment, so let’s turn our attention to what elements make up an effective discussion and how you will address these items both verbally and in your syllabus. In your groups, take a few minutes to list at least three elements that your group feels need to be in place for an effective discussion to take place in a classroom setting.
2. SETTING THE CONTEXT FOR DISCUSSION Now have a look at what I have stated in a syllabus regarding group/classroom discussion (see below). Notice what elements I stress? Are they the same as the ones your group noted above? As a group, decide what elements you think need to be incorporated to address both why and what makes a discussion an effective learning tool.
2. SETTING THE CONTEXT FOR DISCUSSION: WHY ARE GROUND RULES IMPORTANT? “Regular participation in class discussion is strongly encouraged, but please be aware that there is value in attentive listening as well. Quality participation does not mean talking as often as possible; it means helping to ensure that everyone’s views are given a respectful forum in the class, as well as putting forth your own views and the basis for them. Please be conscious of the amount of air time you are taking up, and seek ways to encourage relatively quiet members of the class to participate, such as asking a question while looking in their direction. Be sensitive to signs that others want to speak, and alert others (including myself) if you see someone is waiting to voice their views” (Horsburgh ENG 300 Syllabus 2).
3. STUDY QUESTIONS: Having students respond to some questions before a classroom discussion is a great way to make sure students have. . . Completed the reading 2) Synthesized the material to such a degree that they could respond to your questions 3) Others? 1)
3. STUDY QUESTIONS: In your group, discuss and report the types of study questions that would help students prepare for a classroom discussion? Aside from study questions, what other ways could you prepare your students for a classroom discussion?
3. STUDY QUESTIONS: As Peter Filene states in The Joy of Teaching: “ You will improve discussion not only by distributing questions ahead of time, but also by asking students to write their responses. Instead of the initial awkward silence as they mobilize their ideas, students will be ready to speak” (69).
4. STARTING &GUIDING THE DISCUSSION: As a group, think of three different ways that you could start off a discussion: 1. 2. 3. What makes these elements effective discussion starters?
4. STARTING &GUIDING THE DISCUSSION: ADAPTED FROM BARBARA GROSS DAVIS’S TOOLS FOR TEACHING Refer to any study questions you may have distributed. Ask for student’s questions. Pair students to discuss assigned reading materials having prepared their own questions in advance. PG 66 -72. Phrase questions so students feel comfortable responding. Pose an opening question and give students a few minutes to write down an answer. Ask students to describe a “critical incident. ”
4. STARTING &GUIDING THE DISCUSSION: Ask students to recall specific points from the reading assignment. List key points. Brainstorm. Use nonverbal cues to maintain flow. Bring discussion back to the key issues. Listen carefully to what students say. Change the task if the discussion begins to stagnate Other ways to guide the discussion?
5. BRINGING CLOSURE TO THE DISCUSSION: As a group, brainstorm some ways in which you, as the instructor, could bring closure to a class discussion. Do you emphasize key points? Do you allow the students to summarize the major points?
5. BRINGING CLOSURE TO THE DISCUSSION: WHAT ELSE COULD WE TRY? Summarize how the discussion progressed, emphasizing some key points and looking ahead to the next class. Thank students for their input. Assign certain students the responsibility of summarizing the major points. Restate the learning objectives for that class period. Do they align with the discussion? Ask students to explain using specific examples from the discussion why, or why not, the learning objectives jive with the class discussion.
6. EVALUATING THE DISCUSSION: As a class, determine what strategies or techniques could be used in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a discussion? Would vocal participation be important to you? How about consensus building? What about knowledge acquisition? To that end, what factors would demonstrate an effective discussion had occurred?
7. POST-ASSESSMENT How does the instructor effectively resolve these issues?
THE DISCUSSION MONOPOLIZER AS THE INSTRUCTOR OF SUCH A STUDENT, WHAT TECHNIQUES COULD YOU TRY TO RESOLVE THIS SCENARIO? We’ve all experienced what it’s like to be a student in a class where one or two people monopolize the conversation. You try to voice your opinion but feel like you’re not getting any airtime. The moment the instructor asks a question, the Monopolizers already have their hands in the air ready to respond. The other students are feeling alienated and are starting to demonstrate their frustration with loud sighs and eye rolling. The classroom environment goes from convivial to toxic in one class period.
THE UNPREPARED PARTICIPANT(S) AS THE INSTRUCTOR OF SUCH A STUDENT, WHAT TECHNIQUES COULD YOU TRY TO RESOLVE THIS SCENARIO? You are the instructor of an introductory Biology course of 100 students. On one particular day, you’ve planned to have a guided discussion in order to flesh out various ideas from the assigned reading. Before you assign groups, you verbally ask the students “Who’s read today’s assigned readings? ” Only a dozen or so hands go up in the air. How do you move forward with your planned discussion if hardly anyone has done the reading?
THE NON-PARTICIPANT(S) AS THE INSTRUCTOR OF SUCH A STUDENT, WHAT TECHNIQUES COULD YOU TRY TO RESOLVE THIS SCENARIO? You find yourself the Tutorial Leader for twentystudent seminar group once a week for a humanities course. After a few classes together, you notice that there is one student in particular who does not speak during discussion and seems rather socially awkward. You know that there a myriad of reasons why a student would not feel comfortable speaking up in a classroom discussion setting, and you wish to respect this student’s decision to remain silent.
8. SUMMARY: Working independently, decide what idea/concept/point you found to be the most important in today’s class on Leading Engaging Discussions. Share your response with your group members. Decide as a group what responses speak to your authentic teaching selves and try and craft a one sentence summary of today’s class.