Over the course of a 90-minute whole class discussion, it can be easy to forget what was said ten minutes ago, let alone an hour ago. In this video, Julie Battilana describes how she listens carefully to student comments and then refers back to them to highlight complementaries, acknowledge a disagreement, or emphasize a particularly insightful point. By strategically referring back to these discussion touchstones, Battilana helps students develop a mental model of the class conversation and its contours.
Julie Battilana, Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration (Harvard Business School), Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation (Harvard Kennedy School)
Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School
Power and Influence
Second year course
- Ask all students to use name placards in class so that you and other students can easily keep track of who said what during class.
- Encourage students to refer back to each others’ comments or to respond directly to a previous student point to encourage all students to listen carefully and respond to one another.
- When referring back to a prior comment to highlight a disagreement, focus the class’s attention on what rather than who is in contention.
- The Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard Business School provides a list of specific prompts you can use to respond to students and follow-up on prior comments.
- The Faculty Innovation Center at the University of Texas at Austin offers a range of evidence-based strategies for facilitating whole-group and small-group discussions.