ERIC Number: ED267722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Improving Discussions. Idea Paper No. 15.
Cashin, William E.; McKnight, Philip C.
Suggestions to help create and maintain effective classroom discussion are offered, and strengths and weaknesses of this approach are identified. Discussion is defined as a variety of teaching approaches that focus on two-way, spoken communication between the teacher and the students, and more importantly among the students themselves (e.g., recitation, dialogue, and guided and pure discussions). Discussion approaches are suited to a number of course goals, including: providing the instructor feedback about student learning; meeting higher-order cognitive objectives, such as application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; helping students develop interest and values and change attitudes; and allowing students to become more active participants. Disadvantages include: difficulty in gaining student participation because a perceived threat in speaking out and peer pressure not to excel; the time involved; the difficulty in covering significant amounts of content; the need for more forethought compared to lecturing; and less control for the teacher. Recommendations are offered regarding three aspects of discussions: improving cognitive or intellectual learning, improving the affective or interest/value aspects of learning, and increasing participation. (SW)
Descriptors: Attention, Cognitive Objectives, College Instruction, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Student Motivation, Student Participation
Kansas State University, Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development, 1623 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502-4098 ($1.00 per copy; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Kansas State Univ., Manhattan. Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development in Higher Education.