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Michelle Frisque's picture

Facilitated Discussion

Small group discussion focused on shared topic area.


1. Topics can either be identified before the session or the first part of the Discussion Group can be spent identifying the topics for discussion. All tables can discuss the same topic or have one or some of the tables discuss one topic while other tables discuss other topics. If topics are identified before the date, create questions that can be used at each table to facilitate the discussion.

2. The room should include multiple tables (preferably round). Discussions are best when the table has 4-8 people at each table. This format also can easily support virtual attendees. Create a “table” or “tables” online for group discussion. Have someone on site to follow the discussion so they can report out.

3. If multiple topics will be discussed, assign topics to each table. You may want to allow attendees to move to the table that discusses topics of interest to the. If questions for discussion were identified ahead of time distribute them at this time.

4. Each table should identify a facilitator (facilitator can also be predetermined before the session), recorder and a time-keeper. The group then discusses the topic for a specific amount of time. Ideas should be captured on paper, sticky notes, online, etc. The recorder can either be the facilitator, another person identified in the group or each person can be responsible for documenting their own idea.

5. Debrief. Someone from each table summarizes what was discussed at their topic during all of the rounds to the everyone in the room. Each table should be given 3-4 minutes. Someone onsite should summarize the results online for the virtual attendees.

6. Repeat