Teaching Strategy Tip #31

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.

You might:

  • 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

Source: ​http://fc.short.cm/FosteringLearningThroughInteraction

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 Questions
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.

Source: ​http://fc.short.cm/FosteringLearningThroughInteraction

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