Notes on How to Lead Discussions
The ideal for class sessions: After students talk in groups in response to a prompt, they report to the class (camera first on the whole group, one talking). If someone from the other site doesn't respond, I ask for a response, and then the technician at the remote site switches to the group (or student) who has just responded. I've learned how to turn over the discussion to students. I've learned that by keeping the cameras showing only students talking to students I can symbolize the mode of discussion I want in the course. I'm not the person who directs the flow of conversation. Students talk to students and respond (on screen) to their peers. Sometimes I'm not on screen for five or more minutes at a time. Only two screens can be shown at once--one shows the local site--and the other shows the remote site at which the camera is currently active. Thus, if a student at my site is on screen, talking to a student at the remote site, everyone at all sites sees only the two students talking. If someone says, I disagree, I immediately switch the camera to the student who has spoken up. If someone at the remote sit says, I'd like to add a point to that, then the technician at the remote site switches to the student, who replies.