Published by Brunsell on 14 Sep 2010 at 11:15 pm
During tonight’s #scichat, a side conversation emerged about facilitating whole class and small group discussion. A variety of protocols can be used to help this.
Here are a bunch of useful discussion protocols:
I got the following list of “discussion moves” from a colleague. He gives copies to his students and expects them (and explicitly asks them) to use these moves during class discussions.
Conversational Moves for Questioning, Listening, & Responding.
- Ask a question or make comment that shows you are interested in what another person has said.
- Ask a question or make a comment that encourages someone else to elaborate on something that person has said.
- Make a comment that underscores the link between two people’s contributions. Make this link explicit in your comment.
- Make a comment indicating that you found another person’s ideas interesting or useful. Be specific as to why this was the case.
- Contribute to something that builds on or springs from what someone else has said. Be explicit about the ways you are building on the other person’s thoughts.
- Make a comment that at least partly paraphrases a point someone has already made.
- Make a summary observation that takes into account several people’s contributions and that touches on a recurring theme in discussion.
- Ask a cause-and-effect question – for example, “Can you explain why you think it’s true that if these things are in place, such and such a thing will occur?”
- At an appropriate moment, as the group for a minute of silence to show the pace of the conversation and give you and others time to think.
- Find a way to express appreciation for the enlightenment you have gained from the discussion. Try to be specific about what it was that helped you understand something better.
- Disagree with someone in a respectful and constructive way.
Brookfield, S.D. & Preskill, S. Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms. (2nd ed). Sand Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2005.