University of Wisconsin–Madison

Panel about Course Discussions October 12

Continuing class discussions beyond the classroom

WSB Instructors have many options for conducting discussions, and many format options and software choices that can make the difference between a good experience and a great experience for students. Face to Face (F2F) classes can be supplemented and enhanced with additional discussion spaces outside of class to help students dig more deeply into the course content and learn from each other. Instructors can monitor the discussion, find where students are struggling, demonstrate misconceptions and new ideas, and address issues with individual students or the entire class.

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Video Content with Timestamps

Laurie Brachman, Senior Lecturer, MarketingLaurie Brachman, Senior Lecturer, Marketing

(0:58 to 16:44) Laurie Brachman uses out-of-class discussion to enhance in-class discussions in a high enrollment course of 800 students. Laurie shared how she uses Canvas discussions to enhance F2F sessions, including her grading rubric.

Min Li, Senior Lecturer, Management and Human ResourcesMin Li, Senior Lecturer, Management and Human Resources

(16:45 to 40:30) Min Li shared how she has implemented highly engaging out-of-class discussions in her course: start with purpose, add engaging content, select the tool, and develop a clear procedure. Min’s out-of-class discussions improve participation and engagement, which is shown by data and analytics. She uses the data from to manage the interactions, and increase early participation by students. Min demonstrates the value of a good discussion prompt that is interesting, intriguing, or controversial.

Jim Burling, Instructional Designer, Center for Teaching, Learning, and MentoringJim Burling, Instructional Designer, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring

(40:31 to 52:45) Jim consults on large courses in the School of Business on behalf of the CTLM, shared three useful patterns for engaging online discussions. 1: state-specific objectives and scenarios, 2: state explicit depictions of success, 3: use intentional reporting strategies. Engaging online discussions are intentionally aligned with course objectives.

UW-Madison campus resources for instructors

UW-Madison campus resources on how to effectively use online discussions: