Ideas for graduate student discussion sessions
September 5, 2013 1:22 PM Subscribe
I have recently entered into a master's program at a top school in my field. Student-led discussions are a popular classroom tool here as a way of making the discussion less "top-down" and integrating students' professional experience into the conversation. However, these student-led discussions have also been known to "fall flat", and unproductive discussions are the most common complaint in class evaluations.
posted by cobro to education (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I will be part of a 4-person team leading an 80 minute discussion session in a class of around 50 graduate students in two-weeks' time. I have never before led a discussion in a classroom setting, and am worried about it "falling flat", especially given the 80 minute time period. There will be no need for review of the material beforehand, as the discussion will follow an 80 minute lecture on the same topic.
My initial thought is to encourage more discussion by breaking the class into small groups to complete some yet-unspecified task, followed by a classroom wide review. However, I am interested in hearing thoughts from those who have had this sort of experience, creating and leading productive classroom discussions, especially when dealing with larger groups in higher education.