DigCompEdu Competence area

5.3 Actively engaging learners

Progression Level

Integrator (B1)

Minimum digital skills level of Students


Minimum digital skills level of Educators


Learning/Teaching situation

Any learning situation where whole group or small group discussions can take place. Online and in classrooms.

Target group

All ages.


  • PC/laptop/smartphome
  • Internet connection
  • Microsoft Office Power Point software (other slide presentation software is available)
  • Smart board or projector
  • If online a web conferencing meeting software. For example Zoom or Teams


Power point (or other slide presentation software) can be used to create thought provoking discussion points, or for and against argument starting points. These can include:
Images; facts; links to video or audio clips; links to websites etc.
The teacher can create strong visual and factual information, which can be displayed easily through sharing online through screen share or in the classroom situation.
The class can be divided into smaller subgroups to research and present arguments based on the facts provided on the slide presentation.
Debate can also be instigated without further research.
As with all debates, it is important that the question is clear and the session is managed by the teacher to ensure all learners get the opportunity to participate.

How to do it (step by step)

Step 1

Teacher/educator creates a presentation using the slide creating software.

Step 2

 The argument or discussion point must be clear and well supported with facts, images, empirical data, links to further research and information.

Step 3

The teacher/educator presents to the learners (either in class or online).

Step 4

Students are active listeners in the presentation and encourage to form notes and ideas during the presentation.

Step 5

Teacher/educator divides learners into smaller groups for exploration of ideas, to develop theory and arguments and to create succinct ideas and thoughts to bring to the discussion.

Step 6

All groups are given time to present their ideas with Q & A forum.

Step 7

Discussion can be held with clear rules of engagement! For example only one speaker is allowed at a time. Each person wishing to speak must have a clear signal to the teacher without interrupting others.

Step 8

The teacher must act unbiased and as a faψilitator to help to summarize points.

Step 9

These points may be gathered as an extra slide or on a white board/word document for sharing.

Step 10

The teacher can informally assess individual contribution to the discussion, teamwork and collaboration.

Step 11

Understanding and learning can also be formatively assessed.

Step 12

A follow up activity may be set as home learning. This may be to summarize the discussion and to allow reflective practice of the learner on their own performance in the discussion activity or to allow the learner to reflect on their own views on the question or topic.

There is more…

 Discussion can help students:

  1. Learn to develop and support a position and “think like a scientist”
  2. Gain exposure to diverse viewpoints,
  3. Become more respectful of academic disagreement
  4. Become more confident about taking intellectual risks
  5. Learning how to be accepting of others ideas
  6. Improve students’ ability to listen and to self‐critique
  7. Develop a collective, informed, critical understanding about a topic
  8. To distinguish facts from opinions and values.

See Also