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Summer Institute

Discussions when the Content is Technical


*Greenwald, B. “Teaching Technical Material, in C. R. Christiansen, D.A. Garvin and A. Sweet, eds. Education for Judgment: The Artistry of Discussion Leadership, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1991.

  --Good overview of issues associated with teaching technical material, great suggestions on using cases.


Sauter, P.  “Designing Discussion Activities to Achieve Desired Learning Outcomes:  Choices Using Mode of Delivery and Structure.”  Journal of Marketing Education, 2007, 29 (2), 122-131.

--A  well-reference piece on designing discussion activities that compares face-to-face and online discussions, and structured and unstructured discussion.  


Brower, H. H. “On Emulating Classroom Discussion in a Distance-Delivered OBHR Course: Creating an On-Line Learning Community.”Academy of Management Learning & Education.2003,2(1): 22-36.

--Classifies four types of postings made by students: 1) direct response to question by instructor; 2)Asking a completely different question of a more technical nature; 3) Answering a question posed by a student; and 4) Responding to a comment made by a different student and building on that comment.


Penny, L. and Murphy, E.  “Rubrics for Designing and Evaluating Online Asynchronous Discussions.”  British Journal of Educational Technology, 2009, 40 (5), 804-820.

 --Analyzed 50 rubrics which identified 153 performance criteria for online discussions.  Organized these criteria into four major categories: cognitive, mechanical, procedural/managerial and interactive.  Lots of samples included in the article.


Roehling, P. V., Kooi, T. L. V., Dykema, S., Quisenberry, B., and Vandlen, C.  “Engaging the Millenial Generation in Class Discussion." College Teaching, 2010, 59 (1), 1-6.

 --Identifies characteristics of millennial students and then explores how they can be engaged in discussion.