The following workflow is meant as guidance for how you can facilitate a Fishbowl Discussion active learning online.
- Identify an engaging question or problem that has many potential responses. Try responding to the question yourself.
- Develop guidelines for students to assess the quality of the discussions.
- Select the desired approach and prepare the technology to facilitate the activity (ex. Create a shared Google Doc for each group or set up your Zoom session for the class).
- Direct students to the Zoom session during scheduled class time.
- Present students with the topic to discuss or debate.
- Provide students with guidelines for listening to and participating in the discussion.
- Send students to their small groups. Consider limiting the group size to 3-5 students.
- Visit Using Breakout Groups To Increase Student Engagement for more information on setting up small groups in Zoom.
- Provide small groups with time (up to 5 minutes) to gather their thoughts before beginning the Fishbowl.
- After 5 minutes, bring students back from their breakout groups into the main room.
- Begin the Fishbowl discussion by calling attention to the performance of one group.
- In Zoom, hover your cursor over the students you would like to spotlight as Fish in the Fishbowl. Select the three dots in their window and select "Spotlight for all." Do this for each student that will be fish in the Fishbowl.
- Present the fish with the question again and ask them to begin their discussion or debate.
- Non-fish students take notes or use a rubric shared through Google Docs to evaluate the discussion. In some situations, students are given time to ask questions of the participants.
- Once the discussion is complete, refocus the class on the performance of the next fishbowl group ("unPin" spotlighted students in Zoom).
- When fishbowl time is up, facilitate a debrief. Students should reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each discussion, the quality of their performances, and what they learned from the activity. The debriefing may be facilitated by a fishbowl assessment form.
- Review the outcomes of the activity.
Louisiana State University. Active Learning While Physical Distancing. URL: https://go.wisc.edu/03oyks.