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Facilitating a Discussion Group. TA Workshop Winter 2008. Ground Rules. Interrupt me at any time Please ask questions I don’t have all the answers My purpose is to share with you techniques and best practices and make you aware of resources. Today’s Topics .

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facilitating a discussion group

Facilitating a Discussion Group

TA Workshop

Winter 2008

ground rules
Ground Rules
  • Interrupt me at any time
  • Please ask questions
  • I don’t have all the answers
  • My purpose is to share with you techniques and best practices and make you aware of resources
today s topics
Today’s Topics
  • Encouraging Student engagement
  • Guiding and evaluating discussion
  • Common missteps
personal brainstorming
Personal Brainstorming

Take a few moments to consider these questions before we share as a group:

  • What facilitation techniques have you seen used in discussion groups?
  • What facilitation techniques have you been using in your discussion groups?
  • How do you prepare for your discussion group?
  • Preparation
    • Plan, prepare your students, ground rules, issues surrounding prep time
  • Start the discussion
    • Refer to questions, list of key points, use a partner activity, opening questions, think-pair-share, informal debate
encouraging student engagement
Encouraging Student Engagement

Small Group Work Exercise:

In groups of 3-4, discuss your best practices for encouraging students engagement

guiding and engaging
Guiding and Engaging

Required: volunteer to lead the discussion

Question for group: How do you help guide the discussion?

-Keep it going

-Keep it on track

encourage student engagement
Encourage Student Engagement
  • Create an inclusive environment
  • Positively reinforce contributions
  • Use a ‘token system’
  • Introduce diverse activities
    • Games
    • Matrices
    • Worksheets
    • Group work
guide the discussion
Guide the Discussion
  • Keep the discussion focused
  • Take notes – summarize at end
  • Be alert for discussion breakdown
  • Prevent heated or personal arguments
  • Bring closure to the discussion
evaluate the discussion
Evaluate the discussion
  • What’s the point of evaluation?
  • One minute paper
  • Verbal / written feedback
    • Clearest / Muddiest Point
  • Conduct informal evaluation
    • Quiz at beginning of next discussion
top tips 4 common missteps
*Top Tips* 4 Common Missteps
  • Your contributions?
  • Don’t lecture
  • Avoid vague questions
  • Don’t play favourites
  • Don’t answer your own question
most of all
Most of all…
  • There are no hard and fast rules to discussion
  • Aim for discussions that are:
    • Prepared
    • Open
    • Interesting
    • Secure
    • Educational
    • And have fun!
edc your additional resource
EDC: Your Additional Resource
  • Questions? Feel free to contact me

Joe = joe_lipsett@carleton.ca

520 - 2600 ext 8560

  • Visit EDC’s website for workshops & TA information: www.carleton.ca/edc
  • Join our facebook group: Carleton TA Support