What is a discussion?


A recitation
Talking by people who know little and care less about the subject
A debate
An opportunity for one or two people to show off


Thinking aloud
Verbalization of concepts learned
Opinions held and passing thoughts
An opportunity for everyone to defend, explain, and modify their viewpoints

Criteria for Good Discussions Questions

The question implies a genuine interest in different points of view
The question probes an erea of expertise that is of immediate as well as remote concern
Discussion questions imply values and the process of evaluating known facts
Questions that ask for most, least, best, worst; which would you rather do; is it better to; ...
Encourage a sorting and evaluation process that promotes exchange of knowledge as well as ideas

Responsibilities of Leadership

Open the discussion and provide the objectives
Raise points for discussion
Keep the discussion moving towards the point
Act as "backstop"
Act as "Traffic Policeman"
Act as a Guide with a Road Map
Openly identify the agreed upon points and then limit discussion to points yet outstanding
Bring the discussion to a close as soon as a concensus is reached (within any time limit)

Last updated 96/06/20
© J.A.N. Lee, 1994,1995,1996