Developing and promoting student discussion capacity in the classroom
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The art of conversing competently in scientific language that translates content into every day context is an important graduate skill that is not necessarily inherent but can be developed. Within our undergraduate programs there are a number of courses that implement modifications to the concept of Interteach (Saville & Zinn, 2005). The process requires students to prepare thoughts on discussion questions that integrate their scientific course knowledge with real world scenarios. The answers to these questions require synthesis and deduction. During class time students engage in a series of one-on-one discussions with randomised peers. This process achieves numerous positive communication outcomes. It ensures students remain accountable for their learning in order to participate effectively, individual conversations prevents the ‘opt-out’ student from hiding in group dialogues, students are able to implement the ‘learning by peer teaching’ philosophy, students develop a greater sense of community by participating in peer conversations and students practice discussing concepts that require the use of scientifically appropriate language and terminology to align knowledge and application for deeper understanding. This process engages students in communication skill development in a safe and non-judgmental environment under essentially formative conditions.
ComScIE 2013 Abstract and Biography Booklet
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Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy