How do we define effective teaching? What is quality instruction? What is the impact on student learning? What impact does technology have on teaching and learning? Can resources improve teaching and learning? How do we approach the scholarship of teaching and learning?
After setting through some "good" discussions I started reflecting on what made the discussions good. Are good discussions something that can be planned? Good planning can play a part in the success of a discussion. Understanding the types of questions that will facilitate discussion is a definite plus ... open ended questions are more effective than closed questions. Knowing when to ask a question, knowing how questions can redirect or refocus the discussion are all skills that have to be developed and refined. Moderating a discussion is, I believe, an art. Trying to find some link between discussion and evaluation requires planning.
Some topics that merit further thought are:
The question types, stems, or key words to use in a discussion
Moderation tactics, strategies and techniques
Evaluation of a discussion
One key thought ... if one accepts the idea that a good discussion can enhance student learning ... and that the flow or process of a discussion can engage students cognitively ... how can discussions promote critical thinking, critical reflection and be measurable?