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Class discussion often results in an
increased curiosity about the subject area, more positive
perceptions about the value of the subject, higher rating of the
course, increased time spent reading materials related to the
subject, and higher attendance. However, there are also some
drawbacks to class discussion: several participants may dominate
the discussion, the discussion seems to disrupt class flow, or
participants may seem bored during discussions. There are many
discussion techniques, designed for small or large classes, which
will be helpful in promoting the positive aspects of class
discussion and avoiding the negative aspects.
From our library--
Bender, T. (2003). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Knowlton, S. & Obarefoot, B. (1999). Using national newspapers in the college classroom: Resources to improve teaching and learning. New York: The New York Times Press.
Lee, V.S. (2004). Teaching and learning through inquiry: A guidebook for institutions and instructors. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Online Resources: Tips and Strategies
Ohio State Handbook on Electronic Discussion
Structuring Online Discussion from Tom Cantu, Instructional Designer, Towson State.
Eberly Teaching Excellence Center at Carnegie Mellon provides a brilliant interactive diagnostic tool for teaching problems such as with discussion in class. One of the best on the academic web.
ASU Delicious tags for discussion techniques.
Online Publications: Viewpoints, Articles, Books...The Zen Ten: Article from the University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center Faculty Newsletter. Provides techniques to energize student discussion after they have become too dependent on the professor.