12th Grade Advanced English
Module: Conducting a Panel Discussion
Topic: Ethical Dilemmas

Professor: Frank D. Stonehouse (frank.stonehouse@itesm.mx)

The Q&A Show



  • Language Focus: perfect speaking skills in a discussion panel setting (expressing opinion, turn-taking, questioning, leading a conversation)
  • Technology Focus: conduct effective video conferencing using Web tools;
  • Business skills: evaluate flexible work environments & virtual networking environments
  • Citizenship skills: develop critical thinking skills to discuss ethical issues in society
  • Collaboration skills: analyze & implement effective teamwork characteristics


GOOGLE HANGOUTS ON AIR VIDEO: Due Friday, March 13 , 2015. During this 2nd academic partial, you will work in groups of 5 (or 6) to form a panel discussion about a societal dilemma that your group has chosen . What do you believe is a pressing societal dilemma these days? What are the pros and cons of your chosen dilemma? Discuss/Debate in a panel format using Google Hangouts. Ethical issues are the umbrella subject of this partial project. You should chose a dilemma that is highly controversial with strongly polarized sides (for and against). One person in your groups must act as a neutral moderator and facilitator (poses all of the questions, facilitates groups dialogue, turn-taking, etc.). Half of the members of the panel must select a character profession that is against the topic chosen, and the other half will chose professions that are for (in support) of the topic.

RESOURCES: Videos, Websites and Articles

Research as much as you can (videos, research papers, blogs, news sources, books, etc,) related to issues/topics concerning your selected dilemma and how to moderate a panel discussion:

  • Inspiration/Models: Australia´s Q&A show (Watch some episodes to discover what a good panel discussion looks like and get inspired.)
  • Facilitation Tips: Techniques for facilitating or moderating a panel discussion: Set 1, Set 2
  • Discussion Tips: Techniques for moving a discussion along, politely interrupting, expressing opinions and more. (.pdf file)
  • Issue Selection: Your group is free to select a controversial dilemma as long as it has 2 very opposing, polarized sides, for & against. This Santa Ana College list is a good starting point. Final topics must be approved by the professor.
  • YouTube Video Channel: The Q&A Youtube channel. (more inspiration and examples of panels)

Be sure to cite the sources of your key research findings if used during discussions, for example: "A Pew Research poll showed that 45% of ...."


1. Evaluation criteria (summative and formative):

  • Panel Discussion Rubric (see e-PORTFOLIO folder in Bb COURSE DOCS & below).
  • Requirements checklist (listed below).
  • Character profession questionnaire (.docx Word file) should be completed for homework this week (due, March 10th, to be peer-reviewed in class with feedback). This will help to prepare you to defend & support your positions during the live panel discussion.

2. Additional Resources:

  • "Delivering Your Message" presentation covered in class (see e-PORTFOLIO folder in Bb COURSE DOCS & RESOURCES). Tips on body language, eye contact, gestures, and more.
  • Expressing opinion - language snippets (in same folder mentioned above)
  • Transitional words (.pdf file) to help organize your possible responses (also called linking or connecting words)

3. Tasks & Requirements Checklist (Make sure you do the following):

  • Each person on the 5- or 6-person panel must have a pre-assigned role (1 neutral facilitator/moderator, 2 (or 3) professions against and 2 (or 3) professions for). For example: a politician, a priest, a biologist, a doctor, journalist, etc.)
  • The moderator is responsible for initiating the Google Hangouts on Air and upload to their YouTube account (upload is automatic, see tutorial at bottom of this page.)
  • You must memorize your positions/ideas/thoughts without using notecards during video recording (this to maintain good eye contact, spontaneity, energy, and convey confidence in your message).
  • Moderator, be sure to introduce panel members at the start of your video (name, profession, organization, etc.)
  • Moderator must develop a list of at least 3-4 questions in advance to engage the panel members (see tips above) in addition to 2 questions from people outside of your English class  (another teacher, student, or administrator). These 2 additional questions will be "studio audience" or "Twitter" feed questions. Use a unique Twitter hashtag for backchat participation (i.e.., #itesmguncontrol)
  • You must use the speaking evaluation rubric noted above to guide you and tips presented in the Powerpoint "Delivering Your Message" that we saw in class.
  • The video must show your seated at a desk or table as is normal for a panel.
  • The video must have different locations with a coordinated/synchronous time with no background distractions, recorded using Google Hangouts on Air. You will not be sitting at the same table as in the Q&A videos.
  • You should follow the "DOs and DON'Ts" presentation tips (eye contact, facial expressions, body language, hand/arm gestures, etc.) covered in class (see COURSE DOCS, Week 1 folder).
  • Your video presention is an team project (all members must equally and actively participate). Every team member will receive the same numeric grade.
  • Your video must be at least 10 minutes in length in order to full develop the panel member´s points of view and allow for dynamic discussion (you may record longer than 10 minutes as necessary).
  • Make sure that your voice is strong and that you use varying intonation and volume to help convey your message.
  • You must be dressed professionally in the video, as if you were speaking on an important TV show that the entire world can see.
  • Moderators will have a Google Hangouts on Air training session on Monday, March 2, while other team member work on their character sketches (see HW folder, Week 8, Day 1).
  • Practice sessions are required. These will be schedule for the team by the moderator.

Make sure that you record your Google Hangout to a youtube account. Read Google Hangout instruction for specific details on how to do this.

Google Hangouts Information
How to broadcast with Hangouts on Air (for  moderators)

You will be embedding your youtube video into your final semester class e-portfolio, which is 10% of your final grade. We will work on portfolios during the last 3 weeks of the semester. If you have any questions or require further clarification, you may post in the comment area below. Be sure to include your full name.

The video below will be the launch point for your moderator training session on March 2nd. All those in the role of moderator on your team must be present this day.


Name of standards: Tecnologico de Monterrey National Republic Standards

Link to standards: (all material is behind a restricted LMS and administrative website) Location information: Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico
Grade/Year: Multi-year mixed ages, high school (ages 15-18)
Subject: Advanced English VI
Standard (as written):

  1. Analyze complex texts about specific and abstract themes, including discussion on topics across the curriculum.
  2. Describe differences in Author’s purpose (compare, contrast, predict, argue, etc.)
  3. Create clear and detailed texts in a wide range of topics; explaining his or her own point of view and displaying advantages and disadvantages from different perspectives.
  4. Interact proficiently with fluidity and spontaneity with natives of the target language, as well as to be able to actively participate in debates, sustaining his/her arguments and points of view.
  5. Apply a variety of communication technologies for projects , homework and diverse academic activities.
  6. Discuss topics related to travelling while effectively using the appropriate linguistic structures.
  7. Discuss topics related to the impact of technology and innovation, as well as its advantages and disadvantages while effectively using the appropriate linguistic structures.
  8. Research, analyze and discuss topics related to the human rights of both men and women. Special focus will be on citizenship & ethics.

Google Hangout on Air Panel Discussion Evaluation Rubric

Comment Stream

3 years ago

Dear course reviewers, you may also provide feedback to me directly here in this comment stream. Thanks, Frank

3 years ago

Students, after Google Hangouts on Air automatically publishes your hangout to YouTube, please have your team moderator post the URL/link here in the comments stream of this lesson module so that we can share and enjoy them. Thanks, Frank.

3 years ago
3 years ago

If Her Majesty The Queen of England can pull of a Google Hangout on Air, I have faith that each and every one of you can too! 😃

3 years ago