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Checklist: Leading a discussion

Have you:

  • Decided how to set up a classroom atmosphere that will foster discussion?
  • Informed students about the discussion ahead of time?
  • Discussed the benefits of discussion with the students?
  • Thought about what the students should achieve because of the discussion?
  • Created both low-level questions (questions that will require students to recall facts) and high-level questions (questions that will require students to understand, analyze, and apply information) based on what you want students to achieve?
  • Decided in what order you will ask the questions?
  • Thought about what you might do when students don’t respond to your questions?  Have you prepared them for what you might do when they don’t respond?
  • Considered giving students 3 – 5 minutes of “thinking/writing time” on the topic, prior to the discussion?
  • Considered how you will draw the discussion to a close and wrap it up?
  • Considered how you will use the discussion in upcoming classes?
  • Planned to do a self- reflection afterward?

For further explanation of some of these points, see the section “Leading a discussion.”

Virginia Commonwealth University  |  Center for Teaching Excellence
Last updated: 06/20/2013
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