One method that we frequently use with our students, but also at our meetings is the ”learning conversation.” This method helps us to maintain focus, ensures that everyone can be heard and that everyone gets the same amount of speaking time. Nobody is offended or personally challenged in a negative way.
Comments from students about the method are:
“Structured conversation helps me to be heard.”
“We do not interrupt each other.”
“We’re more efficient.”
What is a “Learning Conversation“?
- A learning conversation is a method that finds solutions that will be supported by all or most of the members of a group.
- The study group should consist of a maximum of seven pupils.
- At the beginning of the “learning conversation,” a moderator, a timekeeper and a minutes note taker should be determined.
- The study group then receives a study topic called “learning question”.
- Within a period of time set by the moderator (2-5 minutes), each participant must think about the “learning question”. These thoughts are written on Post-its – one Post-it per thought.
- In the next section, each participant now receives a fixed period of time (approximately 2 to 3 minutes), in which they present their ideas to the group. Each participant will receive the same amount of time and will have to contribute. The first participant starts by affixing their thoughts on a poster with the help of Post-its. The presentations must not be interrupted. The moderator ensures that everyone observes this rule. The timekeeper ensures that the time periods are strictly adhered to.
- At the end, clarifying questions may be asked; however, no criticism and no judgement should be included. Then it is the next participant’s turn. This participant also fixes their thoughts onto the poster with Post-its. If they have similar issues to their predecessor, then the note sheets will immediately be sorted thematically. All other conditions remain the same. The participants each have their turn.
- After each person has had a turn, the poster is then jointly considered and it is discussed whether or not the thematic bundling makes sense. Changes can be made here. Headings for the subject areas are then sought, as well as first solutions or other study topics, from which further action can be planned.
- As the minutes are noted, all results are compiled at the end and can be given to the participants.
See also: Lärande samtal (http://www.pbs.kau.se/Begrepp/Samtal/larande_samtal.htm)