Fostering Learning Through Interaction
Adsit (2011) provides tips for lectures that are engaging, informative and participatory.
Audience Engagement and Interactivity
Audience attention wanes after 12-20 minutes. Design your class sessions with “activity breaks” to allow your students to process, review and apply the material that you present.
- Ask a question or pose a problem to be solved individually
- Have students work in pairs or trios on a problem or discuss a question
- Use a video or film clip to illustrate the topic
- Present a case study for discussion
Tip: Quick-Thinks (Johnston & Cooper, 1997)
Incorporate active-thinking opportunities in lectures by pausing every 12-18 minutes for two minutes for students to discuss and rework their notes. Quick-Think questions:
- Select the best response
- Correct the error
- Complete a sentence starter
- Compare or contrast
- Support a statement
- Reorder the steps
- Reach a conclusion
- Paraphrase the idea
Tip: Feedback Lecture (Johnston & Cooper, 1997)
Give two, twenty-minute lectures per class meeting with an instructor-posed discussion question after each twenty-minute lecture.
Ask conversation starters, questions that are provocative and open-ended.
Conversation starters include:
- Discuss the choices on a multiple choice question;
- Select the best response from a range of choices
- Ask students to discuss in small groups how to rephrase a concept or question with new or different terms
- Write one question from the prior session on an index card and group the cards by responses; have students answer the questions
Avoid asking “Are there any questions?” The question suggests a “Yes” or “No” response. According to Adsit (2011), students have been conditioned to see this question as the termination of a segment, and either wish to move on or are reluctant to show that they have a question.