Defend a Model or Argument

Building an argument involves both organizing compelling evidence and communicating it in a clear and persuasive manner. Students need practice determining which evidences best support their claim. They also need an opportunity to practice the art of argumentation itself.
Being able to clearly articulate one’s own argument is essential for effective communication and collaboration. In a team setting with diverse backgrounds and thinking approaches, knowledge can only be generated when all team members understand each other’s points. It is also important to be able to defend your argument against those who have an opposing view. Often, this involves acknowledging the contrarian viewpoint and providing counter-arguments to convince them otherwise.

Developing Communication Skills can be worked into a variety of activity types! Here are just a few examples:


Presentation: Presentations are an obvious opportunity to focus on communication skills. Students will have to speak on a class topic in front of their peers. Take this opportunity to teach effective slide design, talk organization/logic, and speaking techniques.


Research: Written research reports are a common assignment across secondary education classrooms. In addition to emphasizing research methods, emphasize the content and style of the final report. How should students structure the assignment? What tone and style is appropriate for the discipline and the type of report?


There are also ways to focus on Developing Communication Skills in unexpected activity types.


Case Study: A case study typically requires a leader to head the class discussion. Rather than having the instructor play this role, students can be assigned to lead provided they have feedback prior to their presentation to ensure they cover the required material. This provides students an additional opportunity to make a clear and effective presentation, convey key information, and manage their classmates feedback to formulate a final summary on the spot. Have groups of students rotate during the semester so each student has the opportunity to present at least once.

Coming soon!