20 May 2022

Learning activity

Scientific Dilemma’s

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. Students are divided into two groups. The first group studies one point of view, the second group another.

In a plenary discussion students defend their perspective. The teacher provides possible reasons for the divergence of these perspectives. This learning activity provides a complete understanding of a dilemma.

On-campus

The activity takes about 30 to 60 minutes and could be done with maximum of 60 students. It could be used as a blended learning activity, when students study and prepare at home and process the information during class.

Manual

Supplies needed:

  • Dilemma
  • Literature to study

Set-up classroom:

A simple classroom set-up, like a U-shape is sufficient.

Step 1. (preparation)

Select literature to study about a topic with conflicting viewpoints/hypotheses.

Step 2. (preparation)

Divide students in as much groups as viewpoints and distribute the articles to them. They study these articles to prepare their arguments individually at home, or in groups in the classroom.

Step 3. (During class)

Instruct students about the learning activity. Students finalise their arguments in groups of their own point of views.

Step 4. (During class)

Plenary discussion: groups propose their arguments and refute the opponents’ arguments.

Step 5. (Evaluation)

The teacher discusses the viewpoints with the students and the possible reasons for the divergence of these points of view. Provide keynotes to take home.

Online

The activity takes about 30 to 60 minutes and could be done with maximum of 60 students. It could be used as a blended learning activity, when students study and prepare at home and process the information during class.

Manual

Supplies needed:

  • Dilemma
  • Literature to study
  • Microsoft Teams

Set-up classroom:

Use Microsoft Teams with multiple channels. In these channels students can discuss their point of view

Step 1. (preparation)

Select literature to study about a topic with conflicting viewpoints/hypotheses.

Step 2. (preparation)

Divide students in as much groups as viewpoints and distribute the articles to them. They study these articles to prepare their arguments individually at home.

Step 3. (During class)

Instruct students about the learning activity in a general meeting. They are prepared, so could start discussing their findings and preparing the plenary discussion with peers from the same viewpoint in a designated channel.

Step 4. (During class)

Students are asked to come back and a plenary discussion is held. Groups propose their arguments and refute the opponents’ arguments.

Depended on how many students you have, you can choose to do a plenary discussion, or you put two groups together to discuss and defend their points of view.

Step 5. (Evaluation)

The teacher discusses the viewpoint with the students and the possible reasons for the divergence of these points of view. Provide keynotes to take home.

Tools

  • Microsoft Teams

Hybrid

The activity takes about 30 to 60 minutes and could be done with maximum of 60 students.

Manual

Supplies needed:

  • Dilemma
  • Literature to study
  • Microsoft Teams

Set-up classroom

A Hybrid classroom is suggested. The online group is in a Microsoft Teams meeting and are provided with multiple channels if needed. The other group is on-campus, and a simple classroom set-up could be sufficient.

Step 1. (preparation)

Select literature to study about a topic with conflicting viewpoints/hypotheses.

Step 2. (preparation)

Divide students in as much groups as viewpoints and distribute the articles to them. They must prepare the articles individually at home. Suggested is to keep online groups and on-campus groups separate.

Step 3. (During class)

Instruct students about the learning activity. They are prepared, so could start discussing their findings and preparing the plenary discussion with peers from the same viewpoint in a designated channel in MS Teams or on-campus in groups.

Step 4. (During class)

Students are asked to come back and a plenary discussion is held. Groups propose their arguments and refute the opponent’s argument. Keep the online group in mind and let them participate. Depended on how many students you have, you can choose to do a plenary discussion, or you put two groups together to discuss and defend their points of view.

Step 5. (Evaluation)

The teacher discusses the viewpoint with the students and the possible reasons for the divergence of these points of view. Provide keynotes to take home.

Tools

  • Microsoft Teams

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