Quescussion

#plenary #discussion

Quescussion, as the name indicates, combines questions and discussion into one activity.

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How:

  • The teacher/instructor asks a question or makes a written statement to the class, visible to all students.
  • There are four basic rules when responding to this prompt:
    1: Discussion has to be in question form (No statements!)
    2: A person may speak only every nth time.
    3: No fake questions (i.e., a statement disguised as a question. For example, “small classes are better than large ones, aren’t they?”).
    4: No ad hominems: an attack on someone else (i.e., “a person would be crazy if they thought that, wouldn’t they?” - this is also a disguised statement).
  • By following these four rules, the quescussion can occur effectively.
  • All questions should be made available, grouped, and used to determine students’ exposure to and understanding of a specific topic. It can also be used to determine topics to cover in each lecture.
  • By framing the discussion into questions, students feel less intimidated to speak in front of the large class. As well, the questions are tentative (impossibly wrong) responses rather than declarative (possibly wrong) responses.
  • The rule of speaking every n times (for example, 3 or 4) generates a variety of voices and allows for reflection while waiting for a turn to speak.