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Ryloth: We had a great discussion in our breakout room, I think 6-7 is a perfect number of participants
Sunflower: I think breakout rooms of 6-7 people are ideal. We had a diversity of opinions, but we also had the opportunity to engage deeply with each idea that came up.
Bremervoord: I like 5-7 person breakout rooms. I think, to encourage discussion in the larger group, you could require each group designate a point person to share snippets of the conversation with the group as a whole
Tollana: I think 6/7 good number. Also think breakout rooms can be 20mins or 15 mins depending on the topic
Geonosis: Great class. Good size breakout group, but too many people keep their cameras off and don't engage in breakout groups. There was a member of our group that kept their camera off, never spoke, and I am not sure was even there.
Iapetus: 6-7 ppl is a good number. you can see everyone on one zoom screen. we had too much time to talk though. that length of time may have been good if we had other question prompts but for such an open ended topic, it was too much time
Rozrog: I think the professor should call on people when we rejoin the group. I don't want to speak up and have people read into why I am speaking up
Callisto: I think 6-7 people was a sufficient number, and allowed for a solid discussion. However, 30 min seemed like a lot of time for the question we discussed.
Rozrog: I think it would be helpful to have a designated chair person for break out rooms. Maybe someone who would start the discussion and/or facilitate the breakout room and then report back to the larger group and share what the breakout group discussed
Mustafar: it's so frustrating not being able to talk, even when all your intentions are good and you just want to learn and you actually don't even disagree, because people are so ready to attack you for "validating" racism and fascism
Rozrog: @Mustafar - I agree. I think people are too eager to accuse genuine questions and interest in understanding the content as some kind of racism
Tollana: @Mustafar if you are that afraid of being attacked for validating racism and facism maybe this isn't the best class for you
Jedha: I've heard a variety of nuanced thoughts in breakout rooms. Just suck it up and talk if you have a strong opinion.
Ross 154: @sullust i feel like that rarely happens though. its one of those things that we act like happens a lot but its like one person per clas
Hyperion: Our breakout room only had 6 people and 3 people kept their camera off. This makes for a difficult small group discussion. I think a little larger group would be helpful. I also think 15 minutes would have been enough time but that could be because our group was smaller in the number of us that engaged with the material.
Mustafar: This is the whole problem. I don't think anybody here wants to validate racism or fascism. Going so quickly to the most extreme assumption makes it impossible
Hoags Object: Being in a small room where no one wants to talk is brutal. Larger groups ftw
Armeria: yeah i havent gotten the impression anybody is validating racism or facism. Nesson wants us to have a nuanced discussion and that means bringing up controversial points, which is hard to do on the threat of being called racist for doing what the professor is asking
Armeria: It's just not a conducive environment for learning or discussion when people say they cannot entertain an entire discourse in fear of validating something clearly wrong. It is a cop-out and a way to not have to think critically about one's views
Neptune: Reading these comments here, I can't help but wonder why this discussion was not moved to threads. The topic was controversial and using threads would have made perfect sense since some people seem too afraid to speak up.
Dakara: I agree that larger breakout rooms are better (though I also think that this depends, in part, on how much time is allocated for the breakout-room discussions; with more time available, having more participants tends to promote a vibrant discussion).
Procyon A: We had a really great discussion in our breakout room today. I like the groups of 6-7. I think it would be nice to have the guiding questions in the chat or somewhere readily accessible.
Rozrog: @Jakku, I think that is part of the problem i.e that people assume if you speak up you have a strong opinion. I want to be able to share because I found something interesting and want to hear from others or talk more about it. I don't want people to think "Oh, she's speaking up? Must be because she's trying to make a point"
Centaurus A: It is a bit strange to me that so many people are overly concerned about their opinions being construed as aligning with racism and fascism - I think it speaks more volumes to the people who think that way than it does about the classroom setting. If you're worried about sounding racist you should probably see the classroom setting as a space to learn and unlearn.
Arcturus: The people with those concerns want nothing more than to use the classroom as a space to learn and unlearn. The concern is that it seems increasingly like just asking questions or questioning assumptions can immediately get one labeled with things one could never have imagined as describing oneself. I very much doubt anyone here fears being aligned with fascism. The problem feels like there can’t be any nuance within conversation, and that stifles learning.
Riedbrune: Yeah, it's really sad that no one wanted to share their questions or thoughts today, and it's at least, in part, because no one wants to slip up and say something that could be construed as racist. I think that commenter that said "if you're worried about sounding racist you should probably see the classroom setting a space to learn and unlearn" is highlighting why that concern exists in this class. That being said, I'm not sure what the solution is.