Saturday 19 September 2020

Interactive Techniques - Student Activities

Interaction Through Homework

156. Find the Company – Students search the Internet for a corporation that makes use of concepts/ideas from class, and must defend their choice in the next class session.

157. Diagnostic Learning Logs – Students track main points in lecture and a second list of unclear points. They then reflect on and analyze the information and diagnose their weaknesses.

158. Process Analysis – Students track the steps they take to finish an assignment and comment on their approaches to it.

159. Productive Study-Time Logs – Short records students keep on how long they study for a class; comparison allows those with lesser commitment to see the disparity.

160. Double-Entry Journals – Students note first the important ideas from reading, and then respond personally.

161. Paper or Project Prospectus – Write a structured plan for a term paper or large project.

162. Annotated Portfolios – Student turns in creative work, with student’s explanation of the work in relation to the course content and goals.

Student Questions

163. Student Questions (Index Cards) – At the start of the semester, pass out index cards and ask each student to write a question about the class and your expectations. The cards rotate through the room, with each student adding a check-mark if they agree this question is important for them. The teacher learns what the class is most anxious about.

164. Student Questions (Group-Decided) – Stop class, group students into fours, ask them to take five minutes to decide on the one question they think is crucial for you to answer right now.

165. Questions as Homework – Students write questions before class on 3x5 cards: “What I really wanted to know about mitochondrial DNA but was afraid to ask...” 

166. Student-Generated Test Questions – Students create likely exam questions and model the answers. Variation: same activity, but with students in teams, taking each others’ quizzes.

167. Minute Paper Shuffle – Ask students to write a relevant question about the material, using no more than a minute, and collect them all. Shuffle and re-distribute, asking each student to answer his new question. Can be continued a second or third round with the same questions.


168. Role-Playing – Assign roles for a concept, students research their parts at home, and they act it out in class. Observers critique and ask questions.

169. Role Reversal – Teacher role-plays as the student, asking questions about the content. The students are collectively the teacher, and must answer the questions. Works well as test review/prep.

170. Jury Trial. Divide the class into various roles (including witnesses, jury, judge, lawyers, defendant, prosecution, audience) to deliberate on a controversial subject.

171. Press Conference – Ask students to role-play as investigative reporters asking questions of you, the expert on the topic. They should seek a point of contradiction or inadequate evidence, hounding you in the process with follow-up questions to all your replies.

172. Press Conference (Guest Speaker) – Invite a guest speaker and run the class like a press conference, with a few prepared remarks and then fielding questions from the audience.

173. Analytic Memo – Write a one-page analysis of an issue, roleplaying as an employer or client.

Student Presentations

174. Fishbowl – A student unpacks her ideas and thoughts on a topic in front of others, who take notes and then write a response. Avoid asking questions.

175. Impromptu Speeches – Students generate keywords, drop them into a hat, and selfchoose presenters to speak for 30 seconds on each topic.

176. Anonymous Peer Feedback – For student presentations or group projects, encourage frank feedback from the observing students by asking them to rip up a page into quarters and dedicating comments to each presenter. Multiple variations are possible in “forcing” particular types of comments (i.e., require two compliments and two instances of constructive feedback). Then, ask students to create a pile of comments for Student X, another pile for Student Y, and so on.

177. PowerPoint Presentations – For those teaching in computer-mediated environments,

put students into groups of three or four students. Students focus their attention on a

chapter or article and present this material to the class using PowerPoint. Have groups

conference with you beforehand to outline their presentation strategy and ensure

coverage of the material.