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Current dilemmas (online)

11 September 2020

Current dilemmas (online)

Students make an inventory of different viewpoints/hypotheses about a scientific dilemma on the basis of a number of (given) articles. This should be a dilemma about which there are several conflicting viewpoints/hypotheses in a discipline. The students are divided into two groups, with each group studying a number of articles that support one viewpoint, the other group reading articles that defend the other viewpoint. The lecturer then launches a plenary discussion on the possible reasons for the divergence of these points of view.

How to do this online?
Create two groups. Share articles on a specific dilemma through the digital learning environment that you use. Let learners work together on a document in which they substantiate their point of view (e.g. via a wiki). Have the final version posted in a blog post. Have students respond to each other’s blog posts.

Tools you could use Microsoft Teams – Where articles can be posted and shared with students. Students can also work together on a document in MS Teams or communicate via video calls, and they can place a blogpost in Teams. Do students have to present their (final) point of view? Then choose a tool like Pitch2Peer, which allows students to upload pitches in the form of videos, Prezis, posters, animations or blogs. Looking for another tool to organize this learning activity online? Contact one of our educational consultants (a.lodder1@uu.nl).

How to do this synchronously?
Synchronous education means simultaneous education in which both the students and the teacher are present at the same time. You can implement this learning activity synchronously by having an online live session, for which students prepared by having read the articles you shared. During the session you can create two groups that will substantiate their argumentation in break-out channels. In a plenary discussion you will discuss the different/ divergent arguments that the two groups come up with.

How to do this asynchronously?
Asynchronous education means that students learn on different moments, outside of the set time frame of a live class. You can implement this learning activity asynchronously by sharing articles in an online learning environment. Then you create two groups. Assign different articles to each group. Give these groups the assignment to read the articles individually and to discuss the arguments which are put forward in the articles in a digital learning environment (such as MS Teams). Ask them to create a pitch supporting their assigned viewpoint, which they can upload in Pitch2Peer before a set date.


Prepare a scientific dilemma, collect and disseminate scientific literature, create groups

Teacher Role

Monitor, guide content, guide process

External links

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