On Professional Development Day, Becky Miller-McGrath and I facilitated a Faculty Idea Exchange. Due to time constraints, we only covered the first two suggested topics, which I have summarized below.
What are Your Best Strategies to Get Students Involved in the Classroom?
• Some faculty use participation points. One faculty member mentioned deducting 2 points per class if a student does not attend or comes to class unprepared.
• Speak at the students’ level and relate course topics to the students’ lives. Use current topics.
• Use controlled humor.
• Use an activity at the beginning of class which builds on the assigned reading for the day.
• Ask provocative questions.
• Have students take responsibility for what happens in class. For example, have a small group responsible for explaining a reading or having students come up with a class activity.
• Require oral responses from students.
• In math classes, students work problems on the board.
• Use interesting activities to demonstrate the topics.
• Significant time was spent discussing group work. Faculty members seemed to indicate that they have more success with students completing group work during class time instead of outside of class. Due to work, family and class schedules, it is very hard for our students to meet outside of class. Additionally, it was suggested that grading include a group and individual component and that team members also complete group evaluations.
• Several faculty members mentioned breaking students into groups and then having students present (or basically teach) the material to the rest of the class. A problem was noted in that if students present incorrect information, the instructor must then go back and correct what was taught to the class incorrectly by the group.
What are your best strategies to get students to come to class prepared?
• Faculty members indicated mixed results with using pop quizzes.
• Possibly using pop quizzes for extra credit.
• Online quizzes which must be completed before covering the material in class. These quizzes would ensure that the students have at least read over the textbook before coming to class.
• Using randomized quiz questions in Blackboard which can be completed over and over and are kept open all semester.
• Randomly calling on students.
Thanks to all faculty and staff who participated!