Creating and checking in on course discussion agreements

Artineh Samkian, Associate Professor of Clinical Education in USC’s Rossier School of Education engages students in course content by soliciting feedback and checking in on discussion agreements.

Professor Samkian was a 2021 recipient of the Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching

Watch this 2-minute video and scroll down for the full interview, plus tips for implementing this in your course!

Read more about this approach in Artineh’s own words:

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Interested in getting started or revising discussion agreements in your course?

Here are some tips for implementation:

  • Include students in the process of creating or revising discussion agreements using collaborative tools, for example Google’s Jamboard.
  • Check in with students periodically during the semester to solicit feedback about course discussions and agreements. This can be done regularly, or in response to difficult discussions or current events that might reinforce the importance of agreements.
  • Include students in a brief discussion about their feedback on the agreements and how it contributed to your revisions.

More resources for implementing and checking in on discussion agreements:

What does the research say?

Marquart, M., & Verdooner, E. (2020). Strategy: Co-creating classroom community agreements. The Journal of Faculty Development, 34(3), 87-88. (USC Libraries link).

Sensoy, Ö. , DiAngelo, R. (2014). Respect Differences? Challenging the Common Guidelines in Social Justice Education. Democracy and Education, 22 (2). Article 1. (USC Libraries link).

Brookfield S, Preskill S. Discussion as a Way of Teaching : Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms. 2nd ed. Jossey-Bass; 2005. (USC Libraries link).


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