Quality Over Quantity in Classroom Discussion

When it comes to classroom discussion quality is often more important than quantity, according to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the story, David Gooblar, a lecturer in the rhetoric department of the University of Iowa, writes that having students talk during class can be detrimental to the learning process if they’re only responding to the instructor. “Getting students to interact with one another, instead of responding individually to the instructor, might be the holy grail of small-class discussion,” Gooblar writes. He also offers tips for improving classroom discussions including asking follow-up questions to encourage critical thinking and creating visual representations of student responses that the whole class can see.