This title is unabashedly stolen from Britt Watwood’s blog post and follow-up discussions. In this post, Watwood unpacks a common challenge of class discussion: the serial monologue. He quotes our colleague Jeff Nugent who eloquently captured the challenge stating “that after a decade of asynchronous discussions, the standard in most online classes was ‘monologues masquerading as dialogues.'” I believe the same challenge is present in face-to-face classroom discussions. It’s pervasive.
The goal of this page is to begin to outline a series of approaches/methods/strategies/practices/routines that can be used to confront and alter the serial monologue. In this sense, the teacher is a serial monologue killer. Our goal is to provide students with the opportunities to critically and empathetically enter into other perspectives: to accurately articulate what their peers say; to generate questions that probe the meaning and implications of what their peers say – fairly; to enter into their peers’ perspectives to imagine alternative possibilities; to show respect by taking what their peers say seriously.
A tall order? Sure. But… I believe in finding ways. To quote the tag line on Gardner Campbell’s blog: Aut inveniam, aut faciam! (I shall either find a way, or make one).
The Goal: To collectively create a collection of approaches that instructors can use to address the problem of the serial monologue in online classes. Please contribute.