Debriefing Dilemmas

After watching a video or doing an in-class activity, it’s important to have some processing and discussion time afterwards. Here’s a technique I learned at The Poynter Institute.

Ask your students or participants these three questions:

  1. What did you learn?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What do you now want to know more about?

I’ve found it particularly useful to let the students know ahead of time that I will be asking these questions. I also allow time for all students to write down their own answers to the questions before asking them to share their thoughts with others. (This is especially helpful for the more quiet or introspective students in the room.)

Depending on how large the class is and how much time I want to spend on the debriefing, I sometimes have them share their thoughts with the person next to them before opening up the discussion to the whole class.

Are there other (generic) questions you ask your classes?

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