Synchronous Discussions (Continuing)

Synchronous discussions involve a small group of individuals gathered together to explore a topic.  The message(s) in this case are used as a starting point for the discussion.

Typical Synchronous Discussion Practices

The practices listed below have been successfully used in discussions involving a single event or multiple events.  They have also been used for groups of people who know each other, as well as for groups who meet for the first time in the discussions.  Typical practices include:

  • Decide the discussion program design:
      • Topic to be discussed
      • Participants to be invited
      • Single vs multiple discussions
      • Length of each discussion session
      • Messages to be used
      • Person to facilitate
      • Discussion prompts to use
  • Typical discussions last from 2-3 hours.
  • Discussion groups typically have 5-7 participants, larger groups can be subdivided.
  • Discussions begin by asking the participants to read the message and jot down their thoughts.
  • Participants are then asked to share their thoughts with the facilitator capturing the key thinking.
  • Next, the facilitator broadens the discussion beyond the message by using the discussion prompts.
  • As the participants provide additional thoughts, these are captured.
  • The facilitator prepares a discussion summary after the discussion ends.
  • For continuing discussions, these additional activities are typical:
      • Selection of a new message featuring an additional dimension of the discussion topic
      • Review of the previous discussion at the start of subsequent discussions
      • Continuation of the discussion as outlined above