"I am a chemistry professor who was just preparing to teach a 20 person graduate class when I participated in the Discussion Project. For the first time in my three decade career, I had the opportunity to discuss, debate, and revel in ideas presented by a wide swath of teachers across the university. I was startled by the originality and freshness of the suggestions, many of which can be translated to teaching science. I would gladly recommend the Discussion Project to all who are interested, even if you are an instructor in a large class. P.S. Here’s one suggestion from the Discussion Project I found helpful last semester: when you ask a question in a small or large class, count to 10 before allowing anyone to answer it - you will find many more students who respond."
"The opening activities to promote immediate class engagement, rubrics for virtual learning, experiences engaging with different discussion techniques, rather than just reading about them – they were all extremely useful for my practice. Our discussions allowed us to collaborate with other teachers in various fields across UW to lesson plan and brainstorm great ways to structure our time and create inclusive learning environments."
"I would strongly recommend The Discussion Project to every UW-Madison instructor who teaches discussion-based classes, or wants to integrate more discussion but isn't sure how to go about doing it. The workshop not only offers practical strategies that can be implemented immediately in the classroom, but access to a network of colleagues across campus who are passionate about teaching and learning. I left with a much firmer understanding of why discussion is important, and how to foster a classroom community that celebrates the voices of all students."
The Discussion Project Virtual is an online training for designing and implementing equitable, inclusive, and engaging online (rather than in-person) discussion in university classrooms. The training focuses entirely on synchronous video conference discussion (online discussion via Zoom or another video conference platform. It consists of seven 2-hour online (Zoom) sessions, each preceded by 1.5 hours of preparatory work.Learn More
The Discussion Project offers an in-person course for designing and implementing equitable, inclusive, and engaging discussion. We will provide this course in 2022. Please contact us if interested.Learn More
Services provided by The Discussion Project include instructional consultation, embedded professional development, and classroom discussion observations and feedback (including reporting on institutional status of discussion implementation). We will begin offering these services in summer of 2022. Please contact us if interested.Learn More
The Discussion Project courses have been created using rigorous iterative process of improvement grounded in the research evidence of what makes discussion work in classroom and feedback from our participants.
Since 2017, The Discussion Project professional learning series has undergone design research process and program evaluation to ensure its quality and efficacy. Most recently, the curriculum, instruction, and their effects on university instructor participants have been the subject of a million-dollar Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, administered through the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.