Home      Organizing Induction      Improving Practice   

Analyzing discussions

This collection of tools begins with the Discussion Sketch, a tool for recording a discussion in a way that helps you examine the interaction between teacher and students. Seven related tools then help you analysis various aspects of the discussion you record.

Here are questions you might ask about sketched discussions And tools to help*
What tasks do your questions set for students, and what tasks do the students actually perform in response to your questions? Students' mental tasks
Are your questions about the object of discussion or about the students' responses to it? What difference might that make? Object- and response-based questions
How are you responding to students' comments, as compared with a list of your options for responding to them? Responding to students
Where might the discussion have taken different directions, with different results? Forks in the road
Are there places in the discussion where students help to lead it, and how might you induce them to do so? Student leadership in discussions
What cognitive, metacognitive and social skills do students need to participate well in the discussion? Skills students need
Which student comments might indicate their learning? What are students learning, as indicated by these comments? Student learning
*The tools are made to be laid beside Side 2 of the Discussion Sketch. ==>
Sketch Lay-beside