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Discussions are a great way to promote engagement among the learning community. They allow instructors to gauge whether students meet learning outcomes, and they give students the opportunity to build on knowledge, hash out ideas, and share insights on a particular topic. 

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BUZZ GROUPS

Break up learners into small groups, and present the groups with a problem or topic. To arrive at a resolution, learners might discuss, brainstorm, or research the issue at hand. To disseminate information and ideas, one learner from each group presents their findings to the rest of the class.
Resource: http://lc2.ca/index.php/item/38-buzz-groups

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable tables and chairs
  • Available mobile devices for researching

THINK, PAIR, SHARE

Pose a question to the class. Have students think of an answer and write it down. Have students form pairs and discuss responses. Have each group share their answers with the class.

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable tables and chairs (for face-to-face peer review sessions)
  • Available mobile devices (for students completing online forms)

MUDDIEST POINT

10 minutes before the end of class, ask students, “What do you find unclear?” Answer the questions that can be immediately addressed, and have students write other responses on a piece of paper/sticky note. Choose one response to start the next class.

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Available mobile devices (students can submit their responses using an online tool)

TALKING STICK

This activity requires learners to talk about a topic or issue for a specific period while in a small group. The person holding the stick is the only group member allowed to speak. After the period is up, they pass the stick to the next speaker. Everyone gets a turn. This activity can be used in various learning situations, such as providing summaries, points of view, answering questions, or icebreakers.

Active Learning Technology & Furniture

  • Movable chairs (arranged in small groups)
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LC2 ARTICLES

“Group Discussion” 

“Best practices in Online Discussion Boards” 

ASSESSMENT IDEAS

Discussion Board Rubric: Summative
This rubric can help evaluate a student’s contribution to an online discussion board.

Discussionrubric.docx

Download File

ONLINE TOOLS

Canvas: Group Discussions
Use Canvas to extend discussions to an asynchronous learning environment.

Twitter
Use the Twitter feed to engage students in ongoing discussions of a topic.

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SUSTAINABILITY: 
Demonstrate responsible and ethical behaviour towards individuals, the community, and the environment.

INNOVATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING: 
Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret alternative points of view, evidence, statements, graphics, and questions through written and verbal dialogue with others. Process and reflect collectively on errors, gaps and challenges.

COMMUNICATION: 
Write and speak accurately and fluently. Analyze, interpret, and synthesize information. Interact positively and respectfully with others. Write so others pay attention and understand.

LIFELONG LEARNING & PERSONAL MANAGEMENT: 
Build on key concepts, make connections, and formulate new questions through online or in-class discussions.

INFORMATION & DIGITAL LITERACY: 
Use various technologies to discuss issues, concepts, and problems. Use appropriate tools to create meaning and accurately interpret and share information. Access and evaluate information.

COLLABORATION & LEADERSHIP: 
Listen actively. Ask questions to clarify, understand and appreciate others' points of view. Communicate openly. Provide sound ideas and respect for the ideas of others.