What is discussion based learning

Leading discussions in which students contribute meaningfully requires a great deal of instructor forethought and creativity. Writing on the board is particularly helpful for students who are visual learners.


Discussion-based teaching is an instructional approach that prioritizes learner acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes through discourse rather than passive approaches that focus on lecture, reading, or viewing. After the Discussion Rethink, retool, revise. Indeed, the facilitation of the discussion — whether online, onsite, or both — critically influences how the discussion grows or withers.

Similarly if a student asks you a question to which you do not know the answer, promise to research the question after class or to provide students with appropriate resources to find the answer him or herself.

OPPOSING SIDES: Discussion-based classes are more beneficial to students

For example, while some may be active learners who prefer to solve problems in order to learn concepts, others are reflective learners who prefer to master concepts through uninterrupted reflection. The entire course must be considered — objectives, resources, activities, and assessments.

what is discussion based learning

Lecture-based classes are set up in a way for students to be learning as much as possible from a single source. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

Discussion-Based Teaching & Learning: Teaching Guide

If a student makes a good comment, refer back to that comment in subsequent discussions e. The use of small-group discussions will allow students to become better acquainted and thus facilitate their communication with one another.

This idea has been called intersubjectivity.

what is discussion based learning

Plan to use brief lectures to introduce complex topics or to clarify the larger concepts that the current set of readings investigates see Teaching with Lectures. Bring the printed roster to class and use it to take attendance on the first day.

Brookfield, Stephen D. Discussion-based classes are more beneficial to students Anderson, Leahnora C April 7, 2015.

Classroom Discussions

Give students 5-10 seconds to think and formulate a response. Again, not all classes are like this.

what is discussion based learning

This ensures that all students are receiving the same content with little room for misinterpretation. Consistently use their names when calling on them and when referring to comments they have made in class or in threaded email discussions.

what is discussion based learning

Barbara M. But the point here is that the act of facilitation is not part of the course design; what is part of the course design, though, is a facilitation guide. One of the most challenging teaching methods, leading discussions can also be one of the most rewarding. Planning Decide on the main issues you would like students to consider during that class period, and formulate questions that lead students to engage with those ideas. During Discussion Every student should have an opportunity to speak.

Ask everyone to introduce themselves to the group on the first day. Frequent questions, whether asked by you or by the students, provide a means of measuring learning and exploring in-depth the key concepts of the course.

what is discussion based learning