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Learn How to Improve Breakout Room Discussions in Online Teaching From This Pepperdine University Professor

Written by Krista Celentano on Aug 17, 2020

Related content: University, Outcomes, Digital Education

As an increasing number of universities announce their plans to move fully online this fall, faculty are actively searching for guidance on how to create engaging, high-quality online learning experiences. As a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology with more than three years of experience teaching in Pepperdine’s Online Master of Psychology Program, Dr. Dennis Lowe, Ph.D., has some suggestions. He shared his unique perspective on how to improve online breakout room discussions in a recent article for Faculty Focus.

According to Dr. Lowe, there are a handful of improvements and procedures faculty can implement in the synchronous portions of their online courses that will make breakout room discussions more meaningful and efficient. But before utilizing breakout groups, he suggests faculty answer two distinct questions:

  1. How can I make the instructions for the breakout discussion clear?
  2. How long should I leave students in the breakout group?

Throughout the article, Dr. Lowe goes on to share some tips he has learned throughout his career in online instruction that address both of the questions above. They all involve the use of collaborative documents to assist with breakout discussions, which have proven invaluable to his teaching experience.

To learn more about Dr. Lowe’s best practices for breakout room discussions, read his Faculty Focus article here.

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