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EDSE 417

Panel Discussion Tracy McGowan 1051975 University of Alberta

Miriam Sekandi EDSE 417 January 24, 2014

EDSE 417 Definition: Panel Discussion

The word Panel by Google definition is a small group of people brought together to discuss, investigate, or decide on a particular matter, esp. in the context of business or government (Google Web, 2014). A panel discussion is an unrehearsed discourse about a controversial topic that cannot be easily resolved by one or two people. In the article Panel Discussions: Creating A Spirit Of Inquiry In The Classroom, the authors Sandra Kundrik and Sharon Melincavage states that many professionals feel that the words conversation and discussion have two very different meaning. The word conversation has a cordial tone and is used for the purpose of growth, whereas discussion is a more serious conversation where opinions are expressed and participants are affected by expressed opinions (Kundrik & Melincavage, 2012, pp. 153). However a person wants to differentiate between the two concepts, a panel discussion is still used for inquiries and to disseminate dialogue.

Who Is Involved In A Panel Discussion In a panel discussion, there are three main roles and each role has a distinctive part. The first main role is the panel of specialists; they are keynote speakers who are experts on the specific topic of discussion. Their responsibility is to provide information and facts about the particular issue. The second role of a panel discussion is the audience. The audience may consist of students, trainees, participants and teachers. The task of the audience is to ask the board of panelists, questions pertaining to the topic. The third person involved, in the panel discussion is the moderator. The responsibility of the moderator is to initiate the discussion, facilitate questions and summarize the key points of the conversation. Thus ensuring to give the audience a feeling of closure on the topic (Signe Cooper, 1979, pp. 36).

Types Of Panel Discussions Panel discussions can be composed in such a manner as a simple or more complex symposium. One example is in the article Panel Discussion: Creating A Spirit Of Inquiry In the Classroom. This panel discussion was used in a nursing classroom. This type of instructional strategy was to familiarize students with the roles and responsibilities of a

EDSE 417

community health nurse (Kundrik & Melincavage, 2012, pp.154). This technique was used for students to hear several people share knowledge and viewpoints about topics that is [are] controversial or that attracts multiple perspectives (Kundrik & Melincavage, 2012, pp.154). The second example of a panel discussion is a more complex approach. In the article Encouraging Critical Thinking Through Expert Panel Discussions, a university professor decides to use a panel discussion in his Information Technology course. The goal of using this type of teaching strategy was for his students to research important computer philosophers/thinkers and present their findings to the other classmates. The professor acted as the moderator and facilitated the discussion. The roles of the students were to prove or disprove whether computers would surpass human intelligence through the eyes of the theorists personalities and perspectives they had researched. The professor discovered that by using a panel discussion in his course, students were more engaged, learned about other theorists view points, they became aware of issues surrounding technology, promoted them to think critically and overall strengthened the course and the environment. These are just a few ways that a panel discussion could be used within an educational setting and when emotions are positive while learning, they sustain involvement and deepen interest in the subject matter or activity (Busy, 2006)

The Benefits Of A Panel Discussion The overall purpose of constructing a panel discussion in a classroom, informational seminar or council meeting, is to promote discussion by get[ing] information and different points of views before an audience (Signe Cooper, 1979, pp.36). I strongly believe this instructional strategy is a great way to bring forth student awareness and to further enhance their knowledge basis. The finally idea in respects to constructing a panel discussion, is it encourages students to become vocally involved and to think analytically about contentious matters.

EDSE 417 Resources

Bucy, M. C. (2006). Encouraging critical thinking through expert panel discussions. Proquest Education Journals, 222-224. Cooper, S. S. (1979). Methods of teaching-revisited panel discussion; Symposium; Colloquy. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 36-38.

Kundrik, S., & Melincavage, S. M. (2012). Panel discussion: Creating a spirit of inquiry in the classroom. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 153-158.