BEEP will host a variety of discussions in order to maximise its usefulness to teachers.
There will always be an opportunity for students to join in a discussion relevant to one of the key themes: Environmental Ethics, GM Crops, Cloning, Genetic Diseases, Human Reproduction and the Human Genome, and there will be a discussion of the month linked to topical events. There will be a separate teachers’ forum where teachers can agree dates for their classes to discuss topics together.
Students can be set homework to use these forums to discuss issues without taking up excessive amounts of lesson time.
Please use the Contact Us link on the discussion board to ask for user names for your class so that they can participate in discussion and to suggest new discussion topics.
When you let us know a discussion has run its course it will be archived. The topic can be revived for a new discussion with another group of students and the archive can be used by teachers.
The more the merrier. There appears to be a ‘critical mass’ needed to maintain a discussion – many more people ‘lurk’ than actually contribute.
The 5 step framework proposed by Gilly Salmon points out stages such as a willingness to go online, basic socialisation and sharing information that each participant goes through before constructive discussion can develop. It makes sense therefore to allow a certain level of social chitchat.
Mutual respect. Teachers will be able to flag any contributions by their or other's students that they wish to be removed. If a student of yours is ‘flagged’ the BEEP team will let you know.