95 Online Dialogue and Discussion

Online Dialogue and Discussion

Wink (2000) views dialogue as, “… profound, wise, insightful conversation. Dialogue is two-way, interactive visiting. Dialogue has periods of lots of noise as people share and lots of silence as people muse. It moves its participants along the learning curve to that uncomfortable place of relearning and unlearning. It can move people to wonderful new levels of knowledge; it can transform relations; it can change things” (p. 47–48).


Purpose of Discussion: 

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the content domain.
  • To improve self-awareness and ability to critique self
  • To appreciate diverse/different viewpoints emerging from the group to trigger informed action and change.

What would you consider adding to this list for your own course? 

In addition to the purpose of discussions, we can begin creating the right environment through the following elements offered to us by Brookfield & Preskill (1999). 

  • hospitality where everyone feels invited to join in and participate,
  • participation by everyone in as many ways as possible,
  • mindfulness where all participants are actively and empathetically listening to one another,
  • humility of all recognizing no one has complete knowledge or experience on any topic,
  • mutuality whereby each participant encourages every other participant’s self-development as much as their own,
  • deliberation in a scholarly manner supported by evidence, data, and logic,
  • appreciation expressed openly by participants to one another,
  • hope as expressed by each individual’s desire to learn, gain new perspectives, and clarify conflict, and
  • autonomy whereby each individual has the rights to his/her own perspective




Brookfield, S. D., & Preskill, S. (1999). Discussion as a way of teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Wink, J. (2000). Critical Pedagogy: Notes from the real world, Boston: Allyn and Bacon.




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