Teaching Strategy Tip #38

Fostering Class Discussion

Principles of good discussion, as specified by Brookfield and Presskill (2007), are to be used under the following appropriate conditions:

  • When multiple perspectives on content are possible
  • When applications of content to real life settings are being considered
  • When students already have grasped the essentials or basics of what is being discussed, the ‘grammar’ of the activity
  • When there is a genuine openness about where the discussion might lead.

Further, the chances for good discussion are raised when:

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Teaching Strategy Tip #37

Useful Resources for Students

Source: http://fc.short.cm/UsefulResourcesforStudents

Teaching Strategy Tip #16

Explain Goals for Performance*

Strategy: Providing explicit goals and criteria for performance

Objective: Prevent students from misinterpreting criteria or misunderstanding goals in what they need to do and learn


  • Provide concrete or directive instructions:
    • Recognize when a key concept is at issue
    • Explain the key concept to solve problems or understand a process
    • Explain the key concept to a particular audience
  • Create a rubric and share it with students.
    • Include the levels of the quality of work produced and
    • Extend students’ knowledge of the qualities associated with good work

Source: http://fc.short.cm/ExplainGoalsForPerformance

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Teaching Strategy Tip #13

Demonstrate the organizational structure of the course*

Strategy: Provide students with the organizational structure of the course.

Objective: By explicitly discussing the order of presentation of topics and concepts, the instructor shares the connections and accumulation of knowledge.

Process: Review the syllabus as a “road map”

  • Highlight the organization of the concepts
    • In the readings
    • In the topics
  • Discuss how the assignments serve as scaffolding for cumulative learning

Option: Connect this exercise with further discussion of the syllabus
* Based on strategies suggested by Ambrose et al., 2010

Source: http://fc.short.cm/DemonstrateOrganizationalStructure