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The Discussion Project
(In-person)

We will be offering the Discussion Project In-Person course again in mid and late August 2023. Applications will open in late March.

Express Interest

 

Who should apply to the Discussion Project In-Person course?

  • We accept applications from any university instructor (faculty, academic staff, graduate student) or staff persons who leads discussion.
  • The course is most applicable to those teaching face-to-face classes with fewer than 40 students.
  • In order to be eligible, applicants must be available to attend all three days of the course.

If you are not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and would like to take the Discussion Project course, please visit this website where individuals and institutions may register for a course series.

The Discussion Project Virtual
(Online)

We will be offering the Discussion Project Virtual again in early fall 2023. Applications will open in May.

Express Interest

 

Course format: Participants will meet online in seven 2-hour synchronous sessions on Zoom. Each session is preceded by one hour of asynchronous preparatory work in Canvas. The Discussion Project Virtual is not currently part of a research study.

Who should apply to the Discussion Project Virtual online course?

  • We accept applications from any university instructor (faculty, academic staff, TA) or staff persons who leads discussion.
  • The course is most applicable to those teaching online classes with fewer than 40 students.
  • In order to be eligible, applicants must be available to attend all synchronous sessions.
  • The focus of the course is online synchronous video conference discussion (eg., via Zoom). Skills learned are also relevant to in-person teaching.

If you are not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and would like to take the Discussion Project course, please visit this website where individuals and institutions may register for a course series.

Instructors often assume that college students already know how to engage in classroom discussion.

In fact, a review of the relevant research shows that…

Students often don’t understand what is expected of them during discussion.

Students do not know how to focus their reading for discussion.

Students hesitate to discuss when the classroom climate is too contentious or too cordial. Setting the right tone matters.

Both students and instructors underestimate how much preparation is required to participate in discussion.