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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Orchestrating Whole Classroom Discussion by University of Pennsylvania

27 ratings

About the Course

This course offers strategies that can lead to richer, more productive, whole-class discussions in their classrooms. Focusing on how to prepare for discussion, this course is for anyone who leads, wants to lead, or is interested in how teachers lead discussion. Across the 4 sessions in this course, we’ll learn more about what teachers and students need to do to prepare for rich discussions, including understanding: 1. What is (and isn't) discussion, and why discussion is important 2. How teachers set goals for discussion, and establish explicit norms that support these objectives 3. How teachers select texts and prepare text-based questions to guide the conversation 4. How teachers – based on these goals, norms, texts, and questions – then prepare students for the whole-class discussion The course consists of short videos interspersed with various thinking tasks—such as reflecting on videos of classroom discussions in action, and designing and receiving peer feedback on aspects of a Discussion Plan, a plan for a discussion you’ll lead in your own classroom....

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1 - 8 of 8 Reviews for Orchestrating Whole Classroom Discussion

By Ian F

Jan 25, 2019

I thought this was an excellent course. I have been an ESL teacher for many years and really upgraded my skills with this course. In fact, I was rather shocked about how primitive my skills in this area were when I started doing the quizzes and assignments, but that was great because I was really learning and I immediately started putting the course's ideas and techniques into practice in my own classes (it will take me some time to improve but I am working on it!) I think many teachers believe a 'whole class discussion' means the teacher asking the class / individual students questions and then chatting away (at least that is what many of my colleagues over the years have seemed to be satisfied with). Getting a whole class to participate in a discussion, taking turns and keeping it going, needs far more and this course teaches you how to set up discussion norms, get students to respond to each others' points and conduct a discussion with fairly minimal teacher input / intervention eventually. Some of the videos of real, committed teachers in action were great to watch and an excellent benchmark. This is a very underrated skill in my view (hence many teachers may bypass the course) - I advise to give it a go if you are a new teacher or an experienced teacher who wants to fine tune this area of your teaching: think, are your classes really having discussions?) and I hope there will be more in depth courses on this topic forthcoming.

By Marina H

Oct 29, 2017

inspiring, well-structured course with excellent resources

By Wong P Y

Apr 21, 2020

This course definitely changes the way of how I see whole class discussions. I will implement it in my language classroom. I hope that there are future free courses on the 'through' and 'beyond' part of this teaching topic. Thank you for including the sample clips. They are awesome!

By megha

Apr 6, 2020

Vvery good

By Mirela D

Jul 2, 2022


By Guy C

Dec 7, 2020

I thought the pacing of this course was terrific. The opportunity to improve upon my instruction centered around discussion and also take it back to my team, was invaluable.

By Mofa

Jun 5, 2020

It was really great course i could learn many things i haven't known, bud i had struggles with because i'm not teacher

By Saki S

Dec 14, 2022

Almost 2 weeks waiting for the assignment to be graded.