NCCCS Conference 2012: Liven Up Your Course In 3 Easy Steps
Monday, Oct 8: 11-12 Liven up your courses in 3 easy steps was presented by Kelly Markson from Wake Tech Community College.
This sessions presenters showed how a few tweaks to your classroom performance and activities can begin to improve student engagement, improve concentration, and encouragement them to earn better grades.
This session was actually wildly effective. Many of these items had to do with creating and improving a flipped classroom – a classroom in which the students do the teaching and leading rather than a classroom in which the students must passively listen and take notes.
My favorite of the bunch was to have students pair up and have each explain the concept to their neighbor. In many cases, this forces the students to understand the ideas and to be able to actively describe them and how they might work. Some students simply will not understand the concepts as explained by the teacher, however, when the concept is explained through the words of another student, it often can become clear.
Another was to encourage students to engage other student by discussing and critiquing their works and presentations. As graphic designers, we do this by default within the advertising and graphic design program at Wake Tech, so this is something which is already in place.
The third easy way to engage the class was through the use of a token – in this case, a beany baby fish. The fish could be tossed and passed around the classroom, causing students to be active while others hoped or in some cases actually begged for the ability to have the fish and talk.
I found this class very enjoyable and looked forward to the opportunity to use the student explanations in the classroom. I think I could get some great traction with that one.