Learning Activities for Teachers and Nursing Students Working with Discussion Triggers

By Patricia Benner, copyright 2015

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1.     Find a film excerpt, a documentary excerpt, patient experience excerpt, news stories, or op-ed pieces that would work for a particular classroom discussion.


2.     Compile a list of media sources for discussion triggers.  Note: you may choose to assign a longer film, or documentary and have the students all view the long film, and select segments of the film for in classroom discussion.


3.     The following are guidelines for scholarly discussion. The learning goal is to have class members extend their skills of scholarly dialogue:

a.     Active listening by all class members.

b.     Responses should connect to the last contribution, or at the very least build a bridge to a new aspect of the topic.

c.     Differences of opinions, and concerns by discussion members should be identified and clarified to sharpen the discussion.

d.     Well-placed, thoughtful questions within the context of the discussion, or contrast cases or examples can sharpen the discussion.

e.     At the end of the discussion, someone appointed before the discussion begins, should provide a synthesis of the discussion, with remaining questions and issues that were not resolved in the discussion. The class will then add to the synthesis if needed, or ask questions for clarifications.


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