Essays on Cost, Buchanan and Thirlby, ed.

After determining the objectives for your discussion, ask yourself: How will I make sure that students meet these objectives? Plan the discussion out, even if you end up deviating from your plan. Some of the questions to consider when formulating a plan include:

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I like to think about questions in these three categories:

Here is more detail on these three types of questions.

First, what are your objectives? If one of your goals is for students to enter into a dialog with one another, then it is particularly important that they be able see and address each other directly. Obviously, the traditional classroom arrangement, with the instructor positioned before rows of student chairs does not serve this objective. On the other hand, if the style of discussion (or quasi-discussion) is Socratic, with the instructor asking questions and students answering, then a more traditional seating arrangement could be successful. In keeping with your objectives, you might also ask yourself what the arrangement of physical space communicates. Do you want to set yourself apart from other discussion participants, or position yourself as one of them? Do you want to make it difficult for students to avoid participation or do you believe they have the right to opt out? (Some authors, for example, have applied a Foucaultian analysis to discussions, arguing that the traditional circle-format is coercive in that students cannot hide from the instructor’s disciplinary gaze! (citation).

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So, in response, it is often a good idea to answer their questions with a question of your own. Like: "What do you think about that?" or "Anyone here tonight have ideas about the answer to that?"

Ifyou would like to quote from or reproduce a posting in an article or monograph or anywhere else,.

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Handling strong emotions and disagreement that arise in a discussion can be a challenge for instructors. A certain amount of disagreement is desirable, yet if the conversation gets too heated or antagonistic, it can inhibit participation and squelch a productive exchange of ideas. When emotions are high, remind students to focus on ideas and refrain from personal comments (this stipulation can be included in your ground rules as well). You might also consider asking students to take a minute to write about their reactions to what has been said so they can cool off, focus their thoughts, and consider one another’s perspectives before re-entering the discussion.

Group discussion topics - Freshers, MBA, CAT, interview …

Sometimes the problem is not shy students but overly domineering or aggressive students who monopolize discussion. Sometimes a subtle approach to reining in these students can be effective (for example: “Jake, I see your hand and want to hear your perspective, but I’d like to give some of the other students a chance to answer first.”); other times it may be necessary to take a domineering student aside after class to discuss changing the behavior.

Problem-solving experiences are generally good for the following situations:

Davis, B. G. (1993)Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Knowing how to ask good questions is one of the key elements of a successful small group. Questions are what transform a small-group lesson from a lecture into an interactive setting—which should be our goal as group leaders.

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Below are a few guidelines for writing and asking good questions. I began to think about this subject a number of years ago as a result of reading Karen Lee-Thorp's book . The book inspired several of the ideas below, and is still a helpful addition to any small-group leader's library.

Group Discussion Reflective Essay

Also, consider in advance how you will handle sensitive discussion topics. Certainly one of the goals of education is to challenge and unsettle students’ assumptions and beliefs. Discussions that do so may not be comfortable for some participants yet still have the desired effect. On the other hand, done poorly such discussions can stifle rather than stimulate engagement and learning. Thus, it is important to anticipate where the “hot spots” will be and make sure you accord them the time and sensitivity they deserve. Also, think about whether the discussion environment in your classroom is sufficiently inclusive of all your students, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, political persuasion, religion, etc. (link to principle about inclusivity).