discussion techniques

5 Discussion Techniques to Encourage Student Participation

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Do you feel like class discussions mostly involve you talking? Give students the lead in classroom conversations through using new discussion techniques.

Starting class discussions among students can be difficult. Often, students are concerned about how they will be perceived by peers and teachers, afraid they might make a statement that is incorrect or seem unprepared. Fostering a class discussion is possible if teachers use the correct tools. Bring more engagement to the classroom by encouraging students to contribute through using the following classroom discussion techniques.

1. Snowball/Pyramid Method

discussion techniquesStarting with pairs of students, begin a classroom discussion around a specific question or concept. Ask them to write down ideas and take notes regarding the discussion they are having in their small groups. Once ideas have been discussed thoroughly, combine pairs to form groups of four and have the pairs exchange their ideas. Combine again to form groups of eight, then 16, and so on, until students are participating in a large, full-class discussion and sharing their strongest ideas and biggest questions.

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Dorothy Crouch is a California-based writer who has covered many topics such as financial technology, travel and the pet-goods industry. Born and raised in New York City, she pursued her undergraduate degree at Hunter College and an M.S., Publishing degree through Pace University. Combining her love of learning and curiosity of the world, Dorothy studied abroad at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College, igniting a passion for travel. Dorothy’s thirst for knowledge and love of learning has led her to travel the world and pursue higher learning, including scuba certification. A lifelong animal lover, Dorothy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their fish and two lovable, spoiled dogs.

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