Have you been pulling your hair out trying to keep track of, respond to, or even just be aware of a small group discussion assignment across 10 or more groups? Maybe you are not even utilizing the discussion feature because you think that your 50+ student course couldn’t really gain anything from the interaction due to volume.
Here is a great Best Practice that can help ensure that your students are communicating with each other and that all student in your course can benefit from the discussions that take place in groups they are not in. Create a Weekly “Leads” discussion forum. Well it doesn’t have to be weekly, but you should have it as often as you have small group discussion assignments.
- Give out the small group discussion prompt
- For each small group assignment, assign a group member to be the designated “Leads” forum person
- Have that member post back to the “Leads” forum for that week summarizing the small group’s discussion
- Make the post part of the group’s discussion grade for that assignment to ensure follow-through
In this way, you not only ensure that you are having interaction on a small group level, you also give every other student in the course the benefit of what other groups think about the discussion topic. Group A might see that they didn’t take into account something that Group C brought up and so on. You will be amazed at how the students will begin to interact in the forum and how the discussion can continue beyond the original prompt.