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Discussion Strategies

Engaging students in discussion deepens their learning and motivation by propelling them to develop their own views and hear their own voices.  A good environment for interaction is the first step in encouraging students to talk.  The sites below will help you to encourage students to be free to speak up in class.

For all resources on Discussion Strategies, click here.




Encouraging Student Participation in Discussion

Barbara Gross Davis,
University of California - Berkeley

This is a chapter from Tools for Teaching in which the author specific tactics to increase student participation and to keep students talking.


Center for Teaching,
Vanderbilt University

This site offers some guidelines for classroom discussions and some specific tools and strategies.

Group Work in Discussions

Teaching Guide for Graduate Students, University of California -Berkeley

This site provides some ideas on how to get students discussing more in class, but focuses mainly on small groups to do so.


Campus Instructional Consulting, Indiana University

This site provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions regarding using discussions in the classroom.

Suggestions for Leading Small-group Discussions

Lee Haugen, Center for Teaching Excellence, Iowa State University

This site provides suggestions for setting an environment in which students participate more in classroom discussions.