But these rare situations DO exist! An AP Government/Politics teacher at my school asked his students to watch the 2nd Presidential Debate and then held a live discussion using our LMS (itslearning). Students were instructed as follows:
Learning objectives: GOV.II. Political beliefs and behaviors, GOV.III. Political parties, interest groups, and mass media
Watch the Presidential Debate on Sunday evening, October 9th, 9:00pm. We will do an interactive discussion during and after the debate here on ItsLearning. You are required to make one initial observation and must reply to at least two other student's statements or observations. Your replies must move the discussion along, not, for instance, just agreeing or disagreeing. Make a solid contribution. As always, the tone must remain civil and respectful.
Below, you can see an example of the discussions:
Would the teacher consider doing something like this again? When asked about his reaction, he replied, “I thought this worked rather well, especially since this was the first time I tried it. The main use for this is during events like this, but I would also consider using it during a State of the Union Address or during the Inauguration. I will try it soon to discuss an article or reading for my AP Government students.”
How do you use discussions in your class? Could those discussions be taken online? What do you need to feel successful with conducting online discussions with students?