Workshop – What’s the Secret to Creating Classroom Discussions That Work?2018-10-24T19:02:59+00:00

What’s the Secret to Creating Classroom Discussions That Work?

While they are effective pedagogical tools, leading discussions can be frustrating. They can easily go awry, leading to uncomfortable silences, the domination of a couple of speakers, superficial contributions, or off-topic remarks. This workshop reviews research-based principles for guiding classroom discussion and strategies for designing and facilitating classroom discussions that work to create an effective, positive learning experience. You’ll experience a variety of specific strategies first-hand, including those relevant to small classes, large classes, online courses, and a variety of disciplines. Plus, you’ll reflect on how to apply these strategies to your own classes. You’ll also learn what you can do to prevent the “common discussion pitfalls” listed above, along with what to do when they happen. You’ll also learn how to design discussions as a part of your course so they truly help students learn (and so you’ll know that they worked!).

Learning Objectives/Outcomes:

  • Review and discuss 12 research-based principles to guide class discussion;
  • Experience a variety of discussion techniques that faculty can use to engage all students;
  • Explore strategies to prevent and respond to common discussion pitfalls; and
  • Design discussions that lead to deep, meaningful, and measurable learning.

Activity Highlights:

  • Structured small group discussions and activities on 12 research-based principles on class discussion.
  • Discussion “mini-simulations” including framing and debriefing.
  • Designing a “discussion that works” for one of your classes.

During this workshop, you’ll experience these engaging discussion techniques first-hand. Expect a fast-paced, highly practical day!

Participants receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completing the workshop.

NISOD Workshops logo

Workshop Facilitator

Jennifer H. HermanDirector, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Associate Professor, Practice in Education, Simmons College

Dr. Herman has developed, facilitated, or overseen hundreds of research-based faculty development programs around teaching and scholarship. Jennifer’s presentations, workshops, and research focus on faculty development programs and Center development, course design, teaching strategies, learning theory, teaching for inclusive excellence, student learning outcomes assessment, and online education. Her publications include Creating Engaging Discussions: Strategies for “Avoiding Crickets” in Any Size Class and Online (Stylus, 2018; with L. Nilson). Jennifer teaches courses on teaching, assessment, learning theory, and curriculum development for the Health Professions Education CAGS and doctoral program. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University at Buffalo and a M.A. in International Training and Education from American University.

Jennifer H. Herman photo

Please contact Edward Leach at ed@nisod.org or (512) 232-1430 for additional information or to arrange to have a campus-based workshop or regional workshop brought to your college or area.

Workshops supplement NISOD’s offerings of professional development programs and resources, which culminate with NISOD’s Annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence held every Memorial Day weekend in Austin, Texas. NISOD’s annual conference is noted as the premier convening of community and technical college faculty, administrators, and staff who strive for excellence in leadership, teaching, and learning. For more information about NISOD’s conference or to register, visit www.nisod.org/conference.