July 29, 2019, by Joe Bell
Achieving Participation in Medium Sized Groups
Here, Charles Crook talks about ways to stimulate a class of students into discussion, to feel confident about talking about the material that they are studying.
He describes some tools for supporting groups in the classroom:
A tool to pick a name out of a group randomly for someone to make some kind of contribution: http://primaryschoolict.com/random-name-selector/
Convening the groups – how do you form the groups: http://chir.ag/projects/team-maker
To police the duration of the discussion – a countdown device: http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/
And a tool that helps them be reflective about the topic they are engaged with and a little implicit cross-talks between groups that are discussing something at the same time. http://padlet.com
Students are receptive to the idea of being responsible not just for talking but for reflecting and creating a durable record of the discussion. They also recognise the value of knowing how their peers are approaching the task. The outcomes of the discussion can be shared on Moodle for the students or future cohorts to get them started.