"My turn" button for Group discussions?

Every Saturday I enjoy a very lively group discussion. There are only three of us and we interrupt each other fairly freely, without anyone feeling slighted or cut short. We interrupt by means of certain phrases or just “social” sounds. We also tend to hand the topic back to the original speaker once we’ve had our say. As we generally chat for an hour and a half there is a lot of toing and froing.

Today we talked about the difficulties of having a flowing conversation in larger groups. Apparently there is a website which offers its members a button to press when they wish to speak.

If you have ever worked in such a setting what did you think about the device? In what way does it contribute to the success of a discussion, if at all?

Good idea, but I would say wait until skype or whomever puts in practice on their dime (or shilling). We have the feature for “tele-meetings” at work but I don’t remember feeling it was necessary… not useless, but not ncessary.

I would also suggest it is the discussion leader or tutor’s job to manage conversation dynamics, ensure everyone has an equal chance, and, if necessary, have a quiet word with the shy or hesitant learners to teach polite interrupting.

Yeah, surely that’s the tutor’s job. If someone’s having trouble making themselves heard, there is always the option to send a hint through the Skype chat along the lines of “can you hear me?”