Adaptation of scientific cafés to school settings using audience response systems

Abstract : The term "scientific café" refers to the organization of a public discussion of socially pertinent questions which have scientific content in an informal setting, typically a café or a bar. The moderated discussion involves discussion between identified “experts” (scientists, stakeholders, decision makers) and the general public. This formula has seen wide success, and has been adapted for use in middle and high school classes. This paper describes some of the drawbacks observed when the café framework is simply transferred to school settings. Most notably, students fall quickly into a “Q&A” dynamic familiar to the classroom, but contrary to the spirit of the scientific café. The authors have developed a new format based on the audience response system ActiVote. In this format, no expert is identified, instead the students are asked a series of knowledge-based and opinion questions and are allowed to more freely interact. This communication concentrates on the comparison of the two debate formats.
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Contributor : Gerald P. Niccolai <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 2, 2009 - 11:19:28 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 12:24:10 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00429255, version 1



Gerald P. Niccolai, Christian Buty, Sébastien Buthion. Adaptation of scientific cafés to school settings using audience response systems. 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Aug 2009, Washington DC, France. ⟨halshs-00429255⟩



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