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Interactive Meetings as Collaborative Learning Events

What if we structure meetings as collaborative learning events? “Congratulations on being selected as the Chair of the campus Task Force”, said Julie Morton to her colleague Debra Walsh. “Thanks, but I’m not sure you won’t regret naming me Chair,” replied Walsh....

Hijacked Discussions

How might we encourage greater empathy in discussions? Professor Amanda Hooper liked to use discussion groups in her social science course. These usually worked well. But she was troubled by a recent development. Several of her discussion groups had students who...

Staying Focused on What’s Essential

How can a discussion team help its members stay on-topic? Dr. Akil Jeffries was observing his discussion groups and was dismayed by what he was hearing. All but one of the groups were totally unfocused on the discussion topics. The discussions resembled more of a...

Designing Facilitation

Facilitation as a Collaborative Design Process All of you have been to my office and have seen the stained-glass work that I’ve done. Today we are going to create a stained-glass design. Each of you have a piece of colored paper and scissors. I want you to cut out...

Internationally Speaking

Amani came to study in the United States from a middle-eastern country. She was on a government scholarship and had to meet specific academic benchmarks to keep it. Her freshman year consisted primarily of general education courses plus freshman English. Amani did...

Practice, Practice, Practice

Improving discussion skills through guided practice and repetition Jeanne Foster was concerned that her students weren’t making progress on their in-class discussions. She would evaluate each discussion facilitator each class period, but would often see others in...

Coaching Discussion Facilitation

Coaching: providing a path to find answers, not the answers Mohammad was scared of his upcoming discussion facilitation in class. Part of his fears centered around his language skills. His speaking skills were strong. But he worried about whether he could...