In this post, we are sharing suggestions for how to hold your class discussions online.
Below please find the online alternatives for:
- Whole group class discussion
- Small group breakouts
- Peer discussion
- Peer review or critique
Post discussion prompts on LMS/Google/Digication or allow students to have discussions in online chat spaces of their choosing. They can then submit the transcript of the discussion as evidence of the conversation.
Note: Be sure to set objectives for these conversations that track to your class content/topic.
Using an editable document posted on the LMS/Digication/Google, have students “annotate” one continuous document of discussion questions you have posed in black text. Be sure to set guidelines for their interactions.
Note: Have each student pick a color text to use for the “conversation”. Set expectations for posing a new question/thought and set expectations for responding to a peer’s questions or thoughts.
Using small, pre-assigned small group breakouts, have students get together to have a small discussion through Zoom, Google Meet or other video conferencing tools to talk over some predetermined content (questions, a specific task—be as explicit as possible here) before the whole class then joins together so the small groups can “report back”. For a more complex version, reorder this as a “jigsaw”. Think about recording and posting this content for students to interact with later, if need be.
Teaching Online Tips and Suggestions
- What is the goal of this discussion or peer interaction?
- How are students preparing for it?
- What happens during the interaction?
- What is the take-away or follow-up?
- What learning objectives does this practice support?
Technology you might consider:
- Google Classroom
- Google Meet
- Google Docs
- Google Slides
- Google Chat
- And many others (please check Pratt’s Telepresence on what is supported)
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