Tips for classroom discussions

How to contribute to the discussion of ideas
• At the appropriate time in classroom discussions, don't be afraid to voice your opinion.

• In class, listen carefully to what your professor or other students say.

• Mark or make notes of the points you wish to answer, discuss, or question.

• Questions are as valuable as opinions. It is very likely that if you have questions others will too.

• Keep your comments to the point and don't hesitate to refer to your notes.

• After you have spoken, it is appropriate to ask for feedback if others understand what you have said. If others agree/disagree with you.

• Demonstrate openness and dialogue you should score points with your professor!


Assumptions
• A sense of competition underlies the informality of American classrooms.

• Voicing a well-informed opinion is important to your overall academic evaluation.

• Evaluations are made by professors throughout the semester. Final grades are not simply determined by your score on the final exam.

• Focus your contribution on your analysis of the topic, your reaction, your opinion, and finally your openness to understand others.

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