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November 2019 – Weekly Writing & Blogs

Response to Timothy

Sean R, tim D, Jake D, Jake H, Rabi, 

Topic: experience with the previous discussion group

The location for the discussion groups were not always convenient. People talk because sometimes people do not talk in the classrooms. It makes it more comfortable for people talk. Sometimes topics were lame but if they were interesting people would actually relate to them. These discussion groups really helped with writing the projects. It was a different environment than the class so it was more interesting. The discussion groups were not just like the other classes so it was interesting. Students were able to talk to each other even the students who are shy to talk in the classrooms talked during the discussion groups. The reflection for the discussion groups were also beneficial because writing about the discussion groups later made it more sense. These discussion groups also helped with the writing projects. They gave more ideas and people shared their ideas with each other. Students could work on the writing projects during the class time on friday.

Group Discussion Response

Members: Bella B & Michael T

I lead this week’s discussion group and we talked about whether the discussion groups helped enhance our learning experience outside of the classroom or not. We all agreed that the discussion groups did help enhance our learning outside the classroom, but that there’s ways we could improve upon the effectiveness of how groups are run.

We said that the groups should have more structure than they do now, because not everyone leads groups the same way. Because no one leads groups the same, not everyone might be getting the most out of these discussion groups as they should. Some groups don’t discuss the topics in depth as much as they could or should, so having a more structured guideline to follow on how to lead groups would be helpful to make the time spent outside of class more effective. Overall, we felt that group discussions were helpful to our learning experience if they were done right, but having it set up in a way to ensure the learning experience is maximized would make them more worthwhile.

Response to Timothy

Jake x2, Tim, Sean, David, Rabi, Jason

Discussion groups have been hit or miss. Some are interesting, some are not. The biggest thing that impacts the discussion groups are the amount of people that actually share. I believe that sometimes people made it incredibly short as in the leaders only having the discussions for about 5 minutes or less. Good leaders are a vital for the discussion groups. Most of the time people never talk or share anything which I find very disappointing. I always do my best to try and get people to talk and I feel as if times I talk too much during them due to the lack of communication that occurs. The topic of the discussion is also incredibly important. It needs to be a topic that people feel comfortable in talking about. Topics that are more relatable or engaging allow students to be able to give more input. I have really enjoyed the process of these discussion groups. I feel with some more tweaks they could be such a huge benefit to learning in future classes.

Response to Timothy

My overall experience with the discussion group was positive and helpful. Being able to converse with other students was definitely a positive aspect to discussion groups, as I was able to hear other student’s input and thoughts on the topics. Hearing others opinions and feelings on certain topics was enlightening and allowed me to see things from another perspective. While I did enjoy the overall experience of the discussion group, I would like to add that some of the topics were not as interesting as others, therefor there were times where it would be hard to connect to others and hold a conversation about said topics. Other than that, my overall experience with these discussion groups has been positive and I believe that the concept of a discussion group is extremely enlightening and helpful to all that take part in it due to the fact that everyone is able to hear other opinions and viewpoints of important topics.

Response to Maura

Group Members: John, Emily, Mikayla, Julia, Haley, Mimi, Maura 

In this discussion group we discussed whether discussion groups are a waste of time or not. I think that they are a waste of time, but with more structure they could be more beneficial. The discussion groups are not led properly sometimes. Also, there is a lack of participation and when there is it is usually something that was already discussed. The discussion groups have the potential to become better than they are. Although the discussion groups allow for a change of scenery and make it so that you are not just stuck in a classroom, they are not as organized and put together as they could be. We talked about how students do not seem to try their best and put forth effort when it comes to these discussion groups. Sometimes the leader will not talk as much as they should, which leads to others taking charge. Also, sometimes the discussions are too short and end in like 5 minutes. 

Week 6 Discussion Response

Kira A, Mike T, and Bella B

In our discussion group, we discussed how the groups are very beneficial to learning outside of the classroom. These discussions allow students to really develop a better understanding of the content material and challenge their own ideas. It also allows students to meet other students and get to engage with their peers in a comfortable setting.  The one thing I would change, if anything, is the organization of the entire process. The blog site was a very helpful way for every class to communicate with each other. However, when leaders posted their what they wanted to discuss and when, they usually didn’t do it until late Wednesday night and that made it difficult to plan which group you would be attending. In addition to that, when people would go to groups, they wouldn’t actually discuss. They would go collect the names and then leave. In theory, these groups work really well. However, in practice, they are a waste of time and a thing that makes me wake up early. 

Response To Timothy’s Discussion Group

Leader: Timothy

Followers: Sean, Rabbi, Jake D, Jake H, Jason,

In this weeks discussion group, we talked about our experiences with past discussion groups and what could be changed to better them. We also talked about what puts a negative or incomplete feel to them. Honestly this weeks discussion group was the most interesting because for once everyone could actually be honest with their own opinions and not have to talk about a topic or essay they really didn’t understand or care for. I believe this to be true and we can all gain something from this. The discussion groups are a great way for students to control their own grades by their efforts and their own time to become more mature and connect with other students out of class. But the topics and material discussed had very little connection to the students and therefore was hard to actually hold a conversation or debate to where everyone felt the need to be engaged. I do believe discussion groups are a good idea for students to continue to better themselves and push each other but the material discussed needs to change in order for true learning.

Tim’s discussion group

Sean R

David H

Jake D

Jake H

Jason R



              In our discussion group we talked about our experiences with our past discussion groups, the good and also the bad ones; and also what made them good and bad. Some things that made them good discussion groups are when everyone joins in on the conversation, so it makes it easier to write about, also when the topic is interesting to everyone, this makes for a more comfortable setting and also makes it easier to write about. Some things that make it bad is when people show up and no one really talks and it is just awkward; this makes it hard to write and it just turns into my own thoughts rather then the thoughts that went around in our discussion group. Some people talked about bad experiences they had where the location of the group was a bit un clear and so it was hard for them to find the group so maybe students can be a little more clear on where the group will be held.

Response to Timothy

Group: Sean R, David H, Jake D, Jake H, Jason R, Rabi, Timothy

In this discussion group we talked about our experiences with the discussion groups to see what was the best ways of conducting a discussion group and what were ways which negatively impacted the purpose of the discussion group. We talked about how the topics were always lame. I don’t really agree with this point but the other members did. We talked about how awkward silences kind of kill the discussion group and is very discouraging for the leader. It makes them feel like people don’t care about it. We also talked about how if you have a good discussion group then it allows for everyone to interact and become friendly with one another. It allows for friends to be made all while doing something easy in order to get an A. We all believe that this is the easiest thing that we have done in college. The only down side that I see is actually going to it. Outside of that, its good to interact. We all enjoy how the semester went with these discussion groups because it is also a big part of their grade and it’s simple enough to not have to think about what is going to happen.

Response to Seamus Corkery-Discussion Group

Topic: Have the discussion groups helped you get a better understanding of what we we’ve learned in the classroom? 

In me and Seamus’s discussion on the topic “have the discussion groups helped you get a better understanding of what we have learned in the classroom. Our opinions were very similar, we both agreed that the discussion groups are a very good idea because they give the students a chance to interact with other classmates to analyze and discuss the readings we have done in class to better understand what the true meaning of what the readings are. But we also agreed this is only acquirable if everyone in the group participates in the discussion and gives an opinion. Without good statements and opinions there is nothing to discuss and obtain information from. So in order for these discussion groups to be beneficial we have to start participating much more in them and not just attend them.

Group:Seamus Corkery, David MacMullen

Kira’s Discussion Group 2.0

Topic: Did you think the discussion groups helped enhance your learning experience outside the classroom? If so why and if not, what are some ways you think we could improve upon the way group discussions are run?

When and where: Friday 11/22 @ 11 am at Sykes Lobby
*I’m stupid and didn’t put the day of the week in my other post so this is the actual one I’m hosting!

Response to Jenna

Group members: Jenna and I

Today I went to Jenna’s discussion group and was the only one who attended her discussion. The topic of our discussion was the discussion group themselves. We talked about how beneficial discussion groups were to us during the semester to better understand the writings that we used when writing our papers. It allowed us to discuss with our peers about our opinions and thoughts on multiple topics.  We talked about how beneficial it was to hear our peer’s ideas and be able to talk about ideas without the usual structure of a classroom. We also discussed how it was nice that we could talk about anything we wanted to. We could use discussion groups to ask questions and get a better understanding of the topic through our peers. We both liked that we could bounce ideas off each other in order for the topic to make sense to us. We both liked discussion groups and wished that more of our professors implemented them into their curriculum.

Response to Nick Gamba

Group Members: Nick Gamba, and TJ Fitzpatrick

Nick Gamba was the leader of our group and the topic of our discussion group was “Are discussion groups helpful in sharing ideas and knowledge between students?” We all agreed that the answer was yes, they do help. As a class we all read the same thing, but everyone perceives what we read in different ways., everyone has different perspectives and viewpoints on what the author is trying to get across in their writing. Discussion groups allow students to share what they feel the reading is trying to say, and share what they are taking away from the reading. Discussing this with fellow classmates allows us to see how other people portray the writing and how it compares to our own personal opinions. As long as the discussion groups are run correctly and each student gets their chance to express their ideas or opinions, then discussion groups are a very helpful way to relate to your classmates, meet your classmates, and collaborate with your classmates.

Responce to Maura

Maura Kelly



Hayley Myers


John Camperson

Discussion groups are a great alternative for class time. However, there are some things. That could be improved to make this more helpful for the students. One problem with discussion groups is that there is not enough effort put in by the students. Students will show up unprepared and not willing or ready to talk about the topic or even too shy to be willing to talk. Multiple times when I have gone to a discussion, people haven’t read the assigned reading and they don’t know what were talking about in the discussion. This is frustrating for those who actually want to talk about the topic. When we get to talking, often the same things are being repeated in just a different way.  All topics are usually the same just at different times and places. I think that the discussion groups are too open ended. There needs to be more structure. Often people’s locations aren’t clear and there are too many people leading which leads to confusion of where they are held and at what times. Discussion groups are a great idea and they have good potential. Some things just need to be fixed first before moving forward with the idea.

Response to Maura

Leader: Maura Kelly

People: Makayla M, Emily F, Julia d, Mimi, john

As a group we feel the discussion groups have more negatives than positives. Constantly, discussion groups I have attended the other students rush to get them done. In addition, people who lead for discussions make the meeting time before the weekend. Students are limited in this case since the weekend’s students do not have class and by making the discussion meeting during the week, the times may conflict with one’s classes. The topics students talk about during these discussions are usually based on what we learned in class. Due to this, it just feels like our weekly discussions are very repetitive and students aren’t learning or gaining little to nothing. There have been multiple scenarios where leaders chose certain locations for discussion and fail to meet there or make the location unclear to others. Since students have more freedom to attend these sessions, we feel students come less prepared and do not put enough effort in them. During the discussion, people tend to repeat the same idea’s and no one builds off one another to formulate new idea. Overall, discussion groups help students interact with other students; however, there needs to be more structure to conduct efficient discussion groups. Without more structure, they are a waste of time.

Response to Maura

Leader: Maura Kelly

Members: Makayla M, Julia D, Emily F, Mimi, Haley, John

                                    Are discussion groups a waste of time

            I think that discussion groups are a waste of time. I think this because not many people put a lot of effort into them. Our group discussed how people come to the groups unprepared and not ready to talk about the topic of the week. Also, we noticed that throughout the semester some people were scared to talk and say their opinion, and if they do talk, they repeat what others have said. Also, most people make the group meet on Thursday and Fridays and they rush the discussion to get it done. We talked about how we think the idea of discussion group is good, but they need more structure and student’s effort.  An example could be making set locations that the students should meet at because there is a lot of mix up with the location. Overall, we think that the discussion groups were a waste of time and could use some more structure.