I utilize discussion in my topic based class, Business of the Built Environment to encourage students to engage deeply with the material which focuses on social justice and environmental sustainability in the built environment.  To that end, I encourage students to take learning into their own hands by facilitating class discussions on topics relevant to the course and important to them.  
"The purpose of discussions are fourfold: (1) to help participants reach a more critically informed understanding about the topic or topics under consideration, (2) to enhance participants' self-awareness and their capacity for self-critique, (3) to foster an appreciation among participants for the diversity of opinion that invariably emerges when viewpoints are exchanged openly and honestly, and (4) to act as a catalyst to helping people take informed action in the world." (Brookfield & Preskill, 2005, p. 6)
Stephen Brookfield's site:  A collection of the author's works, with many useful resources and tools for facilitating discussions and adult learning.
DU's Office of Teaching and Learning:  A host of invaluable resources for teaching in general as well as utilization of technology at DU to facilitate learning.  
Some of my favorite methods from the book:
Critical Incident Questionnaire - available from Brookfield's website in the resources tab


Brookfield, S. D., & Preskill, S. (2005). Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms. John Wiley & Sons.
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