The panel discussion is a valuable, time-tested training technology used te classrooms of all types to help students understand the practices of a particular group of people. But it’s not effective ter every situation.
Spil I moved into the graduate classroom spil a teacher of students studying higher education I realized I had a brief time (one semester) to introduce and expose my students to the vast array of functions ter the area of student affairs/student services. My previous practices facilitating successful panel discussions led mij to believe that a panel would be a good method to use here. It wasgoed not. Ter an effort to create a panel that represented a diversity of functions and practitioners, I ended up with too many panelists and, consequently, an ineffective exercise. Spil the instructor and panel moderator, one has to manage the questions from the class spil well spil rein ter the excitement and enthusiasm of the panel participants to impart their wisdom. A large panel makes that difficult.
I asked the class for terugkoppeling following the inclusion of two panel discussions. They loved the panel but desired to have time to ask more questions and hear more from each person than time permitted. Te reflecting upon their terugkoppeling, I had an epiphany: speaking directly with others about their work is similar to dating. Ter dating you have to ask questions to get to know each other and you vereiste have a conversation to learn about the other’s practices. Then you can determine whether you want to pursue that person… or not!
Employing a speed dating proefje te the classroom te place of a panel can be an effective way for students to learn a diversity of perspectives ter a brief amount of time. This monster improves and enhances student engagement and “creates learning that is active, collaborative, and fosters learning relationships” (Zepke and Leach, 2013).
The vormgeving should be intentional and well-thought-out. Here’s how I set up my speed dating proefje this semester. Twelve pairs of students asked the same questions to twelve different practitioners, essentially receiving twelve different insights on one particular kwestie te the same amount of time used te a traditional panel discussion. Te prep for this event, students were asked to work te pairs to brainstorm questions for the practitioners/panelists. Each pair turned te a list of three-five questions ranked by their specific interests. Spil the instructor, I assigned one-two questions vanaf pair. I added follow-up questions to each set so students could delve deeper into the kwestie if time permitted.
Programma the event requires thought and organization. Prior to the presente event, the questions should be sent to the panelists so they can organize their thoughts. The students te the class should be provided with brief biographies for each panelist. Having this information prior to the event will permit the students to use their brief time (it is a speed event after all) most effectively. Puny touches will make a difference. Providing name tags for everyone, water for the panelists, toegevoegd paper and writing instruments for taking notes, and encouraging the professionals to pass out business cards will add to the practice for both parties.
It is significant to pay attention to time during the activity. Each round has to be long enough for the students to gather some information and brief enough to get to each panelist during the activity. A stopwatch and a whistle are essential equipment.
Most significant is to leave time for reflection for the students. At the end of the practice, have students work ter their pairs to discuss what they learned. Ask them to synthesize their learning and report to the group their genérico conclusions. Then, create an chance for each student, or pair of students, to share what they learned with the surplus of the class. This sharing can be done ter class or te a written format, which can be compiled and distributed to the entire class.
The terugkoppeling ter my class following this activity confirmed for mij that this format wasgoed a richer learning practice than a traditional panel discussion. One student remarked that she felt they were getting a special backstage pass to connect with professionals ter their field. The activity permitted for deep learning and sparked inquiry into the profession that carried across the semester.
Feden, P.D. (2012). Training without telling: Contemporary pedagogical theory waterput into practice. Journal on Excellence te Collegium Training, 23 (Two), 5-23.
Kuh, G., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J., & Whitt, E.J. (2005) Student success te collegium: Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
Zepke, N. & Leach, L. (2010). Improving student engagement: Ten proposals for act. Active Learning te Higher Education, 11 (167). DOI: Ten.1177/1469787410379680.
Dr. Jacqueline S. Hodes, Assistant Professor and Higher Education/Student Affairs Coordinator, Department of Counselor Education, Westelijk Chester University.
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