If you were in the role of an Organizational Behavior professor, what are some leadership behaviors you would demonstrate in order to generate a higher level and quality of student discussion?
Discussions is an excellent strategy for enhancing student motivation and encouraging democratic habits. They create opportunities for students to practice and sharpen a number of skills, including the ability to articulate and defend positions, consider different points of view, and enlist and evaluate evidence.
While discussions provide avenues for exploration and discovery, leading a discussion can be anxiety-producing: discussions are, by their nature, unpredictable, and require us as instructors to surrender a certain degree of control over the flow of information. Careful planning can help us ensure that discussions are lively without being chaotic and exploratory without losing focus. When planning a discussion, it is helpful to consider not only cognitive, but also social and physical factors that can either foster or inhibit the productive exchange of ideas.
Determine and communicate learning objectives : Formulate arguments and counter-arguments for a legal position. Imagine an approach to the design of cities and discuss the impact such a design would have on the lives of people in different socioeconomic categories. Suggest and justify design changes to optimize the benefits for the most number of people
Plan a strategy : One of the most important things to consider when formulating a strategy is how to get the discussion jump-started.
Ask Good Questions: Good questions are the key to a productive discussion. These include not only the questions you use to jump-start discussion but also the questions you use to probe for deeper analysis, ask for clarification.
Provide Direction and Maintain Focus: . It may be helpful to write out a few questions that the discussion will address, and return to those questions periodically.
Encourage Participation : Many issues can affect student’s willingness to participate in discussions, from cultural background to preparedness to the kinds of questions asked Are the questions too difficult or, alternatively, are the answers too obvious.
Make high-quality participation count: While we all want students to participate in discussions for the sheer joy of intellectual exchange, not all students may be equally motivated to jump in – at least not initially.
Evaluate the discussion and Reward: Discussions can be evaluated less formally, simply by asking yourself a set of questions after the fact, for example: Who participated? Who didn’t? What might explain the patterns of participation? What questions proved most fruitful and why?. At the end students must be rewarded to encourage their participation.