If you want deep discussions, don’t dive into the shallow end!

At Yellowdig, when we talk about “standard discussion pedagogy”, we are referring to a framework where there are assignments for each course module/topic (usually weekly), students have a deadline for responding to a prompt, and there is a requirement to make a certain number of posts and comments (usually 1 post and 2 comments on others’ posts) in response to those prompts. There are many related variations to this methodology, but the script is shockingly similar across institutions and departments… as is the sentiment that these “discussions” are a time-consuming and disappointing exercise. Let’s consider this the shallow end of the swimming pool. It feels safer, but it’s still plenty of water to drown in and you definitely can’t safely dive very deep in here.