CWRU Alert: In light of the worsening weather, Case Western Reserve is closing at 1:30 p.m.
Only essential personnel should remain on campus or report to duty after that time. Essential personnel are those whose work contributes to the fundamental activities required to maintain daily operations. The School of Dental Medicine's dental clinics will close at 3 p.m.
(From Active Learning: Cooperation in the College Classroom, by D. W. Johnson, R. T. Johnson, and K. Smith, Interaction Book Company, 1991, p. 5:1-5:9; and
Teaching Tips, Wilbur McKeachie, Houghton Mifflin, Berkeley, 1999)
- Increases instructor awareness of student learning
- Better suited to developing higher order cognitive skills
- Makes students feel more engaged and welcome
- More likely to change attitudes
- Gives more responsibility to students for learning
- Less information is conveyed
- Some students may not contribute to discussions
- Some students may dominate or be abrasive
- Difficult to keep discussion focused on topic
- Judging the appropriate amount of talking by the instructor
ENEMIES OF THE DISCUSSION
- Students may feel that they are not learning
- Students not sure what they are discussing
- Agreement arrived at too easily
- It is believed that the instructor already knows the ‘right’ answer or is looking for the ‘correct’ viewpoint
- Students have not done the reading
- Students feel that the atmosphere is not safe to make errors or to voice tentative, unformed ideas
The list of advantages should be used to decide when to use the discussion as a teaching mode. If you feel that the content would benefit from having a class discussion, the next stage is to take steps to combat the problems and enemies of the discussion. Some suggestions for doing so can be found by going back to here.