Stimulating Class Discussions

Samuel Paschall, J.D.

March 29, 2007

Strategies for Leading Class Discussions* (pdf)

Video Segments

  1. How do you start a discussion?
  2. How do you stimulate participation?
  3. How do you expand a discussion?
  4. How do you wrap up a discussion?
  5. How did Paschall stimulate discussion?
  6. Are there any other questions?


Leading successful class discussions is not a magical art. There are teachable strategies that can lead to success: strategies for introducing the topic, maximizing participation, keeping students “on topic,” handling disagreements, moving forward, distilling important points, and wrapping up. In this video, Professor Samuel Paschall demonstrates these strategies as he leads a lively group discussion at CETLA. To identify the strategies, CETLA’s online handout describes each of the 30 different strategies that he employs, while the video captions label each strategy as he uses it. Also, to watch a group analysis of Paschall's teching, click here.