Fishbowl Discussion

Overview: Students will choose one Communication Theory mentioned in their chosen chapter, read two original articles which use this theory, and engage in discussion as part of a small group on this subject in front of the class.

Purpose: Students are familiarized with Communication as a Social Science and the process of knowledge generation behind the theories presented in their textbook.

Due: According to the date you signed up for.

Detailed Description


Select a chapter from the textbook and choose one Interpersonal Communication theory presented in that chapter. Select two original research articles from the Communication literature which use that theory. Upload PDF copies of these articles to Moodle. Read and annotate both articles. Turn in printed out annotated copies of the sources you chose. Provide a short summary of the articles in class and participate in discussion with the panel about your chosen papers, how they connect with the other papers presented, what they say about the topic of the class meeting, and how what we can learn from the papers can be applied in daily life.


  • Both articles you choose must have a “Results” section.


Each presenter will provide a brief overview of the contents of the articles they chose. Presenters will then engage in discussion about their articles and how they inform one another. Questions from the audience are encouraged, but generally should not start until all of the presenters have had a chance to contribute to the overall discussion.


This project is graded out of 100 points.

Fishbowl Discussion Rubric

20 points 15 points 10 points 5 points
Contributions Makes many substantive contributions. Contributions clearly connected to discussion. Makes at least 3 substantive contributions. Connections to discussion may be tangential. Makes at least 1 substantive contribution. Speaker may not be able to connect to discussion. No contributions are made.
Reasoning and Evidence Uses strong evidence from text, with accurate citation. Uses evidence to support some points, most with citation. Uses minimal evidence or evidence is not cited. No evidence is presented.
Participation Encourages other participants. Does not interrupt or monopolize discussion. Avoids disrupting others. Generally does not interrupt or monopolize discussion. Disrupts other participants by interrupting frequently or monopolizing discussion. Does not participate.
Delivery Speaks clearly, concisely, understandably, and appropriately. Occasionally difficult to hear or understand. Difficult to hear and/or understand, and/or significantly inappropriate. Does not speak.
Preparation Annotated print copies of articles turned in and PDF copies of both articles uploaded to Moodle. One annotated print copy not turned in or one PDF copy not uploaded. No annotated copies turned in, no PDF copies uploaded, or only one article used. None of these complete at beginning of discussion period.