Explain to the students how the brain works and how it relates to the techniques I use in the classroom.
Active Learning-I ask students to use their prior experiences (interests, hobbies, coursework) in a service learning project for my class, using what they know, and connections they have been able to make, to benefit others. They propose their own projects.
This idea has all 5 components:
a. Incorporating peer feedback into a course.
b. By giving students the opportunity to learn how to give feedback to classmates’ works-in-progress, this motivates students to perform at the same or higher level or their peers in a non-threatening way.
c. It is also an activity which reinforces learning of the subject matter (active & challenging).
d. t can create a sense of support and community because the students are helping each other improve their own works (and grades!)
e. And peer feedback allows students to gain an appreciation for classmates’ efforts and a glimpse of the instructor or professor’s role.
I share details about my personal life so students would better know me and understand I care. My tone (in history class) is conversational always. It’s less intimidating.
Timely feedback-It is important the students know where they stand. If they meet the deadlines. I feel my feedback is a motivation to keep working.
Active Learning-making connections. Break down new vocabulary words into root words they may recognize. i.e. Gymno (naked) sperm (seed) = plants with no fruit
To construct a DNA model, each group (15) would make their model and at the end all 15 newly constructed models are connected together to make 1 huge large DNA strand. Teamwork.
The Code of Life?? Active learning activity
a. Large lecture class: teaching Protein Synthesis and Learning the importance of the triplet code-give groups triplet codes to translate into Amino Acids- *Don’t forget to show the redundancy in the code and ask why its important?
Active Learning-Redefine what research is-all students in science be engaged in research to understand the scientific method at its most basic and elementary. Does not need to be Nobel-prize level research-just be engaged in inquiry in science.
Award bonus points for hours spent in study groups.
Motivation: Finding a scenario or a situation to explain/share how that scenario/situation relates to the topic. This could be shared at the start of the topic, so as to inject an interest-to see importance of the topic.
Optimal challenge: Allow students to select lower level reading-can read Wikipedia, elementary texts before reading textbook, those very challenged can read primary sources.
Holistic-I teach an Adapted Physical Education course in which our students create, design, and build an activity station modified for a variety of disabilities. Then we invite 300 kids, ages 3-22, from local school districts to our “fantastic Field Day” special event which is organized and administered by these same students who created the games. This applied learning project encompasses the holistic nature of this particular class. The students tend to go ‘above and beyond’ the basic expectations of the class because they realize that they are creating an experience of a lifetime for a special child. The desire to provide for others is the culminating, holistic experience of this particular class.
When students are stressed by the lesson, find a way to show how you (the teacher) messed up learning the topic, make it funny. When they laugh, give another “classic” example, followed by a short statement of how the material was used successfully in their “current” lives.
First day of class: When introducing class & trying to establish rapport, have the students say where they see themselves in 3 to 5 years & their name. If they do not know, do they see themselves as being successful as a RN or LVN (LPN). These students are in an ADN program.
Several smaller value assignments. Total point grading. One idea: To motivate students to succeed, I give several smaller “low-risk” assignments in addition to “high-risk” mid-terms and finals. This helps build knowledge throughout the semester and shows students what they are learning.
Have students partner up, introduce themselves to each other and share name, program, hobbies. Their partner then introduces them to the class.
Emphasize life skills and life balance in the “start” class for all adult degree programs
a. Associates’ degree-study skills
b. Bachelors degree-org. behavior & work
c. Master’s degree-business, technology thinking skills
Students team-taught in a foods lab for the entire quarter. Each of 4 students depend on each other to share leadership for preparation of recipes and prep of a budget meal.
Community: I teach a module on using the library’s resources (primarily online resources) in two courses for English majors-one undergraduate, one graduate. I make assignments, and grade them, for 20-25% of the course grade. I have students choose a partner at the beginning of that module and work with the partner, in class, every time we do database research activities. Some of the students have hold of what they need outside of class to work together on their homework assignments for me-and then also on other assignments in other courses.
Include psychomotor skills-positive example
b. Teaching career progression/promotion eligibility
c. Known/unknown within segments to include instructor one-on-one feedback with possibilities to further study-no project has a single end.
“Who Uses This Stuff” Project: Students in my lowest level of developmental math are required to create a brochure highlighting a math problem that is used in the “real world.” They must give an example of the problem and demonstrate how to solve it. It should be bright & colorful like an advertisement.
I suggest having dry erase boards installed 360 degrees (or as much as possible) around the classroom and create activities that send students to these boards in groups or as a class to work out problems, brainstorm, or write…because a teacher can immediately assess the outcome and give feedback. I have used my boards to have students work through Thesis Statement creation, solve a dilemma in a group, demonstrate vocabulary decoding, and so on. Students think better, participate more, & have fun.
Share with my students some of my personal stories as a student, my stories and failures, hopefully to motivate them.
I teach a 3rd year/level class and on the first day of a particular subject, in this case hydraulics, I give them an exam of what they should know from 1st year. I eventually let them take it home to complete it on their own.
Explain Martin Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences to students and have them design a project that fulfills one of the domains of intelligence.
Community: especially for a larger class; divide into smaller groups (3-6 students) to discuss a particular question related to the subject material. A smaller setting, where each individual is required to contribute, will often draw out ideas and comments otherwise kept silent in the larger classroom. Small groups often more comfortable for the shy or hesitant; peers learning from peers; and discovering new things together.
When you grade a course on the basis of a 1000 system, with opportunity for extra credit points, you provide a motivation from the first day of class.
Teacher Education (Educational Psychology) : Students work in groups where they are a faculty-they end class by saying how they will (or won’t) apply today’s theory or best practice in their class/school.
a. Motivation-expectancy: Variety of Assessment that values effort
b. Value- Real life relevance: Why do I need to understand this
c. Their experiences as a student or what they will do when they have their own class
d. Optimal/community/holistic: Collaboration as a faculty
In my library research course, I have students do a tutor assignment.
a. They must use listening skills to translate a friends question into a searchable question, then decide the best resource to search, using their searching techniques they have “hopefully” learned in the course.
b. Some students have completed some meaningful medical literature searching for newly diagnosed relatives. Others use comparative techniques to find the best car, and that’s ok too.
I provide a menu of choices within a task or a paper in a doctoral class:
a. Write a conference proposal
b. Synthesis of literature
c. Develop a white paper
Each needs to be a max of 1500 words so students experience word limitations for publications as future faculty. Then the students must present a “Pecha Kucha,” on the topic.
Faculty as students-Faculty Development
a. Workshop on Brain Rules by Medina Faculty teach each other a chapter they choose for the book-content is shared &-how it is applied in classroom. (Collaborative Community Building).
M-to obtain knowledge to be able to achieve success.
A-labs to practice motor skills & to tie it to the topic
T-lab computers, projects, tests
C-lab groups, study groups, & community service
H-using video, labs, scenarios with patient cases & ethics classes
Make course applicable to day to day work of the student after graduating. (e.g. Teaching Helne at seminary…)
Using orders in both face-to-face courses & online course to promote discussion-these are orders demonstrating events in Business course that relate to the course’s topics-“Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!”
One of the ways I use to motivate my students and help them “belong” to our class is to take them out for a drink for a review session on a problem solving one before an exam. We up very close, a small community and they are not afraid to speak their mind and ask questions and eventually learn and be happy too.
I work hard to create a community through learning names and asking my students to learn each others’ names. I then take time to review some student work in class in front of the class, inviting student input. It challenges many students to work harder on their own work. Also students get to know & learn from each other. I always call students if they feel comfortable with me reviewing their work. If they don’t, I do not review it.
a. Have students interview a “real practicing nurse” and include questions about concepts & want them to learn more about on the grading rubric. They then write a paper and compare & contrast what they learned during the interview & and the nursing literature. Students say they dread it but they were surprised how much they learned and it was a favorite part of the course.
To build students’ confidence in a skill or concept, I first give an activity assignment that involves group participation. It is followed with a learning activity that the individual student performs to demonstrate competency.
I give an exam which I grade and return as soon as feasible to the students. I identify the learning outcomes that most students missed and offer students another test that focuses ONLY on those learning outcomes using different test items. They know they have a chance to improve their exam grades with the subsequent test score.
Small groups = community
a. produce something that students can use in his or her portfolio
Be enthusiastic (& show it!) about what you are teaching. “Enthusiasm is contagious.”
a. In pairs, 1 student sits in a chair & the other is given the goal of having the other partner & his/her chair raised up 4” off the ground. Eventually, students realize they cannot reach their goal on their own. The debrief involves facilitating student discussion on asking for help from others and using college support services in order to achieve goals.
Use of Post Cards: Place assignment on a table and have group of learners respond to a prompt. Ex: Teaching philosophy—which represents you & why?
Teaching research methods to future healthcare professionals is a tough role. I have to connect research to practice repetitively to motivate them to learn. One very important skill they need is to be able to locate, retrieve, and evaluate current literature to support care (evidence-based practice).
a. Students in my course work in teams to develop a you-tube with specific objectives, target audience, and message related to a randomly selected topic related to disease prevention and health promotion. The top 3 awards are released on the public domain.
Continued referral to how this information-knowing-will be useful in the professional practice. Always bringing it back to the reality of USE.
Motivation: Provide practical examples to be used on students. Target careers and show how important the subject/class (s)he is taking.
Allow students to be invested in assignment-each student must figure out how to accomplish assignment outcome in ways that speak to his/her interests (perhaps main field, etc.).
Active Learning: My students are expected to engage in discussion to apply newly acquired knowledge to themselves or someone they are familiar with. Putting a ‘face’ on a concept greatly increases understanding.
Act as a facilitator to get students actively motivated /actively engaged in the learning process.
a. Teach ½ of class
b. Allow students to process and share knowledge with each other
Deliberately craft the semester’s assignments based on a number of points, then if a student does badly on one, s/he doesn’t necessarily fail the course. Make sure students know this up front. Jeopardy game—chocolate candy prizes.
In many sciences, students are concerned about memorizing information (ex. Periodic Table). I tell them that we never used to memorize an atlas, but we learn how to use it as a tool/reference.
Active—Learning projects in all my classes engages them in a project & course concepts. Community—they work in teams the 1st week & they are required to do a goofy scavenger hunt to build group community also it creates a sense of community beyond the university.
Get to classroom 10-20 minutes early, greet students by name as they come in.
Active Learning—have each student read another student’s paper and provide feedback. I provide a list of questions and comments as a guideline.
Use “participation quizzes” (for extra points) to keep students on task.
Promoting Values: I list the topics that I have to cover according to the curriculum and I allow the students to tell me what they want to know about the topic or what do they already know about it. I set the course according to that info.
Motivation—when starting a project, ask students probing questions to help them break down the tasks so they are manageable.
Community Building: On the first day, I hold a “Mocktail Party.” Students out of seats , shaking hands, and meeting one classmate at a time. After 2 minutes, I say “switch” and students move on to the next classmate.
Send students motivational quotes via the vista (Blackboard) each day…that apply to something that each of them have shared at one point & time with the class. Student response has been exceptionally accepting.
“The Daily Quiz”
a. 1 question the minute class starts-fixes attendance issues and makes good into the lecture. It offers a reflection from previous lesson and gives segway to the next.
b. If your late?—no luck, typically easy marks too!!
c. If class is lagging??—I will ask if it is from material yet to be covered.
Motivation/Community: Students seem to go (& heavily attend) group tutoring sessions for help from other students rather than seeking direct help form professor (chemistry).
Motivation/Task is Tough Enough: Hold student/instructor conference for larger assignments (ie: first drafts). It helps student feel like he/she is important, treated as an individual. It also allows instructor to tailor the rest of the assignment to the student needs & abilities.
I try to help students “unlearn” previously experienced situations. For example, many of my students have had negative experiences in math. I work with them to overcome those experiences and learn.
Putting them into learning groups.
M: You can do it, just like others did!
I post previous semester grades and explain how test, attendance, & activities impact previous students grades.
Active Learning—I create a worksheet with course concepts & have students work in pairs in class with their books to define terms. We discuss terms as a class to make sure everyone agrees. Then we watch a film/movie in class looking for examples of course concepts. In class & online discussions.
Optimal Challenge Zone
a. I try to create a Friendly First Day. While the syllabus is clear, it is not designed to be scary. The first day of my Composition One class, I have students meet together and discuss the Best Writing they have ever done. I point out that academic as well as career and personal writing counts. When they finish, I emphasize that we are all already writers.
Community: Seek to know and call on students by name. Note when they miss class and remind them of their role and contributions to the class. Their absence lessens the whole.
Motivation—At the beginning of each class, have the students close their eyes and imagine something silly, like a red bunny driving a yellow corvette listening to Michael Jackson. Ask them, “can you see it?” Well, take the concepts presented in class and “visualize” them so that you are motivated to imagine the info.
Motivation—At the beginning of each class (face-to-face or online), tell the students how the information is important and how it relates to the overall course and beyond. Students will be deterred to ask “Why do we need to learn, do or read this?”
I teach young undergrad students in large classes (250 students), for two hours or so. Half-way in the class, I use ice breakers to keep the momentum going and try to enhance the learning.
Motivation: Create student-friendly positive learning affirmations for in-class focus on tasks.
Community: Each class session begins with a discussion. Students share thoughts & feelings about whatever topic is currently being presented in the media. They learn about each other & from each other.
Have a pre-lecture quiz online that you will analyze for problem concept to cover better once the class meets.
Using a group quiz to reinforce previous class concepts.
“Got it-don’t get it”
At the end of each lecture topic, students hand it a slip of paper with two items: “Got it”-what they understood and “don’t get it”-what they don’t understand. Once a week, results are posted on Moodle and explanations given for the “don’t get it” items.
All students work together to plan, produce, and complete a project (in this case a film production) in a limited time frame and on a limited budget. This goal creates a common goal and they will work 12-16 hours a day to complete the task.
Community: I stress that in our “learning community” classroom, we are all teachers and learners. Everyone is equally responsible for the teaching and learning of everyone in the community.
We have a capstone project which requires the students to apply what they have learned into a presentation at the end of the course. Students are put into teams divided by their experiences. The presentation is done by the team.
For mental health nursing I have students engage in role playing and afterwards the class critique appropriate and non-appropriate therapeutic communication techniques that the students demonstrated.
Motivation—Be more than just a professor, become your students’ cheerleader. Help them to see that they can be academically successful, that they can earn a certifications or a degree. Unless they believe in themselves and embrace the sacrifices and the challenges, they typically won’t achieve anything.
Have students in construction management technology develop a photographic journal of actual construction projects as we discussed specific topics during the semester-illustrating their conceptual understanding.
Motivation: Explain how the knowledge of the subject can impact a job opportunity.
Motivation—In the syllabus, highlight the fact that effort is the preeminent of the subjective factors that is rewarded in terms of the grade.
Using clicker questions that involve application of concepts into real-life situations (it motivates since it identifies why knowledge is useful, it is active learning since using clickers, and it is appropriately challenging since it can involve individuals at all levels of understanding).
Motivation—Lots of small assignments building to larger ones to encourage students to continue.
“Testimonials” from students who took the class previously and examples of their final projects (Helps students see end result).
Do icebreaker exercise at the beginning of semester so that they learn something about each other.
Continue to do group exercises throughout semester, so they continue to talk and interact with each other.
Sense of community:
Students sit and work in groups of three throughout the entire course. I feel by doing together and explaining concepts to one another, they will learn more then they will ever learn just from me.
Group homework, group quizzes, group projects, group work on problems in class.
Show the students where we are going, how we will get there, and remind them where we are now and where they came from.
On day one of class, assign a homework assignment where students have to find a specific apartment, in the location where they plan on living after graduation, and then come to class with the specific rent amount. This sets the tone from the first day, letting them know that rent won’t pay itself.
Community: Bring in a professional in the field of study to interact with the students. They find that the professionals ARE interested in them and want them to succeed, and it is a bonus to reinforce the need to know.
Active Learning: I use analogies to help students relate new concepts to previous understandings.
Students are assigned the task of summarizing a challenging academic essay. They must work in pairs to co-author the summary. They get the same grade, but if the paper earns a C+ or lower grade, it may be revised and resubmitted for a higher grade, but single authored. The new version is attached to the earlier one. Once the paper earns a B- or higher, the option to revise is gone. But students have all semester to work on the revision, turning it in when they are ready.
Establish 2 ground rules for our freshman/sophomore seminar style of facilitating Leadership Development class:
Confidentiality—no quoting anyone outside of class.
Listen with respect—critique ideas but no putting down others, including the “teacher.”
Collaborative learning: I found that students learn better and smooth out their rough edges when they combine conflicting analysis to produce a bounded unit of learning.
Community: Promotion of student engagement by allowing them to work together to understand, and subserviently explain, physiological processes.
Active Learning: Video tape a lesson/topic and have class review key elements of group work in activity by watching it over again (replay).
I try to get students vested in the topics of the course through a statistics project where they decide the data they collect—the questions they ask in their survey.
To help students make connections to the content I like to start with a story or have the students share a story about the content. This helps them build on their prior knowledge.
Frustration is often a barrier to motivation. Helping students capitalize on the positive outcome of their learning process opens the door to motivation.
Collaborative assignments in distance education
M=I open the students to collaborative assignments including how the students will benefit from all diverse students. The time invested has been worthwhile and students participate fully in collaborative assignments.
Community—Engagement in online discussions in online class. Active Learning—Students perform a skit (they write the script) that explains reproduction in plants.
Active Learning: In my intro Stats class, after I lecture, I present a problem tied to one of the concepts and allow the students to get into small groups and work together to solve the problem.
In my Arts & Humanities class, I teach about religion. I developed a project that builds throughout the semester. The students discuss their religious views and opinions. They discuss good and evil in the world and how they process those terms (and give examples of both). Then, we discuss examples of what people say constitutes good and/or evil. Then, we look at good and evil in the world through current events. We get to discuss and challenge each other.
Holistic: Create an environment within the class that welcomes differences and puts emphasis on each person’s learning.
Motivation—Expectancy & Value
Active Learning—connect new to existing learning
Work at optimal challenge level
Holistic—I teach with a variety of assignments so students have lots of opportunity to demonstrate they know the material in a learning stage that suits them. These assignments are:
iii. Presentations (formal or poster)
v. Projects (often using software)
vi. Take-home quizzes
vii. On-line discussions
viii. Reenacting scientific experiments
Motivation—Small prize (refrigerator magnet) for doing the best job on a class exercise.
I teach 500 person sections. Every few minutes I ask a question (multiple choice format) and I encourage the students to work together and get a consensus on what is the right answer, to bubble it in AFTER THEY agree .
Community: Students having supper and learning conversations at same time has work extremely well!
Show students why what they are learning is important and how it will impact them.
Active Learning/Community: Put class in small groups of 5. Give group a critical thinking problem related to content of lecture (usually clinical application). They solve it together. I randomly call on groups to share responses.
Task assignment: Oral presentation (10 minutes, 3-5 good sources) on a topic related to what will be on next exam. Very experienced, knowledgeable students are challenged by how to make their knowledge clear, to the point, and related to our course topic. Very weak students are challenged by finding 3-5 “good business sources,” e.g., Wall Street Journal, Business Week, NYT, etc.
When students have a major project, I expect and plan time for them to submit it for feedback before they submit it for a grade—it promotes a “safe” environment and an expectation for success.
Exploration: I divide the class into a number of groups and they work on problems together. Then they can share with others in class.
H—I teach business communication; in class one, I ask students to think of a real example of a positive and a negative communications experience. Then we analyze their examples.
Conflict management: Assign students to think of one difficult person they have interacted with who causes tension or conflict. Task is to take one insight from the basic communication course and do one thing different in the next encounter with this person. They submit a brief report on the result. The assignment is due in 4-8 weeks to students ample time to plan and reflect.
Getting students involved and making learning their own: I use a participation portfolio that students can choose the things they want to include. They collect/include any item that includes an aspect of American government (political event, election, school meeting, current event, etc.) From this, students see how they can be involved in their learning (and their government)
Test often. It keeps them motivated and builds students’ confidence.
Put the student in the shop and have them try their new skills
Make what is being taught relevant to the students’ lives. Example: Teaching about percent concentrations in chemistry, talk about DUI and percent alcohol in blood in determined and calculated.
To create a vision of real-life experience based on learning certain skills in management.
Tell students how the material will relate to their futures; use real world examples/documents.
Hands on learning: Practical experimental learning. Doing the tasks or following the lecture online or using a computer as the lesson/lecture is done or taught.
Balance grade point totals between multiple categories (exams, cases, lead class discussion, current event, worksheets, etc.). This allows students who don’t excel in one area to make up ground in another.
When composing homework assignments, I combine questions of varying difficulty. I ultimately include a problem or two beyond the difficulty required for my course and offer extra credit for solving these problems. The number of students that choose to step up to the challenge is so incredibly refreshing and motivating.
Active Learning: Independent laboratory projects are the best way I have found to promote active learning.
What do you do to help students value what they are learning? Take the mystery of the reason out of it. In other words, I let the students into the conversations in higher education about why we do what we do and what we hope they get out of it. Then I ask them what we can change for them to get out of it what we hope.
Motivation: Find a “hot issue” and use that to get students to formulate solutions and evaluate responses to solutions. Example: Nobody is happy paying sales taxes. Would you abolish taxes? How will you make up the money lost is sales taxes are abolished?
Active Learning: After working through the concepts, I give students random objects. In groups they draw analysis to the concepts connecting the ideas and sharing with their group members.
Motivation: The instructor indentifies a variety of assignments that meet the objective and that provides for different learning styles of students from which students may choose.
Pull something out of a website from today’s financial markets and link it to something we will talk about today and have the students tell us how that link can be used to help in their career quest.
Motivation: Give them an idea that students gain employment with increased knowledge from class.
When teaching graduate students how to teach online, I encourage them to consider face-to-face methods that are effective for certain topics and use parallel/similar techniques online, such as small group discussion or think/pair/share. These techniques can be effective online as well.
A—Letting students pick assessment format
C—Cooperative learning groups
Expand what appears on a PowerPoint slide and ask students to refute it.
For motivation, my version of a “wildcard” assignment in my American Literature class: Pick one of the following: digital storytelling, paper (critical, pedagogical—for my pre-service teachers), creative), American literature game, or poster. But each one requires critical reflection.
M—To increase expectation of success: Because I know how difficult it is for students to remember everything they have learned and/or studied for a test, I offer some choice items (fig., choose A or B) so they can show what they know.
Community—I do team-building exercises at the beginning of the semester.
Active learning: Have students take responsibility for their learning by applying lesson concepts to their occupations, field of expertise, and personal experience.
Model these attributes in everything I do (from day 1); if I am enthusiastic, clear in my expectations, and believe the value of what we’re doing, they will be more engaged.
“15 Minutes of Fame”: The student gets to choose a topic they feel they could teach the class (for 15 minutes), they become the expert with certain guidelines to follow. Motivation—they are the “star” for 15 minutes. Active learning—they research. Task—they choose the topic. Community—they all practice with each other to get feedback before their 15 minute presentation. Holistic—they learn all types of things; respect, confidence, professionalism, body language, etc.
To develop a class community, I ask students to post a blog entry on-line (campus topic) and read other posts and comment. I have the students use their names.
Be positive and available. Have a form for the first day of classes asking students questions to ascertain how they cam to a Post-secondary Institution, such as; Were you asked to be here? (By your parents), How do you feel about being here?
Motivation: Offer one question thrown out on quiz for “classroom” 100 percent attendance. “Stickers” to reward “A’s.”
I have 8-10 guest speakers come in.
I have 2 group assignments to go out and interview experts in industry for presentations.
Active learning: In a writing course, students receive each others drafts throughout the semester and one by one the whole class peer reviews the drafts. Students learn from other student papers and gain critical feedback on their own paper. In other words, every paper is read by every student, and every student must provide feedback.
For community & challenge: I use team service-learning projects in which students work on real organizational tasks which are challenging.
Public Speaking—End of the semester speech competition: all completed outside the regular class time. Motivation—Winning class does not have to take the final. Work as a community—The whole class has to contribute; vote on class speakers, visual and preparation outline, etc.
Community/Motivational Task: Visiting, via field trips, museums, during a class on Foundations in Bilingual Education or Methods of Teaching Social Science.
Sense of Community: I use “team-based learning” in my intro courses.
Holistic learning: So important to have students reflect on a learning experience and talk about how it felt (what we their emotions?) and how they might do things differently.
After presenting a concept, I summarize by asking students to think (and share) these about the concept: Who cares? Why do they care?
Motivate: Start each class with a “hook”—something that is contextual and related to the day’s concepts—provides relevancy and captures interest and involvement.
Motivation—Self motivated. Active Learning—Presentation (group). Task—Never Presented before. Community—Form groups 4-5 students. Holistic Learning—All applied info evenly.
I tell my students that I learn from them even as I teach. Learning is a shared activity. We are a community of seekers traveling toward a goal of knowledge.
Value: Speaker from related career speak on the outcome of education.
Motivation & Active Learning: To teach costume history, I had students write about why they wear clothes and why change certain items, compared to an appropriate moment in history.
I engage students to choose a concept from the course and teach a segment of the class.
Use short appropriate videos (expectancy) and tie it to a career (value) strategy.
Get the class to teach itself a concept/jigsaw.
With 40 students, divide into 8 groups of 5. 20 minute study sessions, with materials provided, then a 10 minute presentation from each group, followed up with a 10 minute debrief.
I start with an activity that will captivate their attention.
Get students to take ownership of their own learning. Provide them with projects and subject matter that connects to them personally. Show them how their knowledge can impact the world.
Motivation: Emphasize constantly how the new knowledge will serve them in their future.
Work optimally, feel valued, and learn holistically. I set the students up as instructors. They choose a brief lesson in a particular technique. They then present to the class, then the school.
Motivation: Had students act as ambassadors. They go promote the department and in doing so, realize why they like it.
Motivation: Since I am aware that “I” cannot “motivate” anyone, as motivation comes from within oneself and since I teach medicine, I always and continually remind my “medical students” that patients will be putting their lives in their hands and they deserve to be seen by a competent provider.
Teaching a skills lab (hands on) in learning to examine to different use of the knowledge.
Active Learning: Use real life examples (personal case studies) to relate students to students to learning.
Motivation: Don’t put deadlines on learning. If a student learns yesterday, tomorrow or in two weeks, the grade is the same.
Value: Have students negotiate evaluation methods (test & assignments) based on learning outcomes for the course.
Community: I give students a questionnaire to fill out on day 1 & then the 2nd week, put them into groups of 3-4 students with similar goals & backgrounds. They sit in their groups in class & during class, do problem solving exercises together. They help each other and learn from each other.
Measureable results: Apply task initially and again in 8 weeks, then they are graded on the growth.
Showing students how the subject relates to ‘real life’ is a real motivator. I use examples from TV shows and the news to drive the point home.
Take students’ pictures 1st day of class and memorize their names. Call students by name from the 2nd class on. Use their names frequently. This instills community and aids in engagement because students cannot hide.
Enhance value and therefore motivation by applying concepts to current and actual problems form the students’ live. It works well in Psychology of Learning and Motivation and Emotion courses.
Always find a means to connect content with everyday things. While difficult for everything, very effective for the ones you have. I am an ecologist, so anecdotal stories go miles. Students love it.
Motivation: Excitement/Passion. If I present my subject matter with passion and excitement (show my passion and excitement for biology), students (not all, but some) have commented that this gets them excited about biology and motivates them to learn about it too.
For Political Science/Contemporary History classes: Show and discuss political cartoons from the previous week (students bring their own cartoons each week, along with the instructor’s cartoons. Also, research, discussion, and group work.
Improve writing skill by writing for real audiences beyond the classroom. i.e. Senior citizen profiles: interview local seniors and write/transcribe their stories. Publish/share with the participants (compile autobiography). Teach interviewing skills/read models and practice before.
Lighting the Match=Approachability, availability, and recognizing the “moment” with the student when it introduces itself to you.
Motivation: Share my own clinical experience to give relevance and context to the content I am teaching.
Active Learning: Get the students to present the material in their own format. A group of 3-4 students put together a 15-20 minute presentation on a certain topic and then we discuss the material.
As a criminal justice instructor, I pair up students wear one (uniform)/already working in the field, with one who appears to be (that officer), rethinking results in what they can learn from each other, recruitment transpires, learning what works (and what doesn’t).
One of the ways I have built community in class is to form small work groups the 1st class day and ask the students to develop norms for their group, drawing on their best experiences in groups, such as collaborative and worst such as social loafing. It is a very powerful technique to form great work groups.
Make the assignment something personal that many can relate to. Create problems that have real world implications.
Community: I create dialogue groups at the first class of each course. Students come to class with a homework assignment that requires them to connect, to expand, and a challenge from the reading. In the dialogue groups, they share their insights.
I create a low-risk atmosphere in the classroom by emphasizing that we are practicing together, often in partners and as a whole class. Also, I give alternative due dates for many assignments.
Task is Tough Enough: Very important to start where the student/s is/are in terms of their knowledge of a subject, not to assure knowledge, vocabulary, etc.
If students are lacking motivation, we stop the class right then and there and do a brainstorming activity on a topic that was previously covered showing students how much they have learned and how far they have come. We also have a lot of one on one with our students. We friend them on campus and put something positive on their Facebook.
Allow students to text you with questions.
Motivation: In teaching Chemistry to non-science students, I try, as often as possible, to make analogies to common examples in the lives of my students. I try to identify examples from my life and my students’ lives that is somehow related to the topic under consideration.
Community and Active Learning: Classes are 50/75 minutes in length. By splitting, this is 2 or 3 25 minute sessions and 10-15 minute “lecture”, the rest is group work.
When all students in a course made an “A” or “B” in a particularly hard course, the class was invited to a pizza party rewarding their hard work.
Build connections between theory in class and clinical component of class by having student groups work on a challenging task that forces them to form a community.
Motivation/Value: I teach nutrition to nursing students who often value their major classes more than “diet therapy.” In the future, I may have students blog about why/how nutrition is important for them to know as nurses.
Allow students to demonstrate their knowledge with many different assessment methods: exams, presentations, group work, homework, etc.
I am a student—I am tired (flight came in late). I am hungry (I missed lunch), I can’t concentrate (my daughter keeps texting me). How will you engage me? Tell me a story, a story with characters facing shocking/new or interesting challenges. Then ask me about it, allowing me to be a little grumpy, but encouraging me to continue to participate and reward my efforts. I will cheer up and feel transformed by your class session.
Sneaky tactic…by allowing us an opportunity to be “famous,” you have motivated us to be active participants. And you have offered us a “party gift.”
Community: Routine town hall sessions with students and administrators (Dean, Associate Dean, and faculty) to gain feedback.
“The Power of Co-Construction” (Don3 with graduate students): Bringing goals for the class to students and, with them, co-construct how those goals will be met: activities, resources tapped, assignments, assessments…, it becomes a true “community of learners,” involving Dr. Barkley’s “MATCH.”
Give examples as a way to help students make connections.
At the end of class, read a recent article relating to the subject just covered in class. The idea is to make it more tangible.
“Self-correcting exams”: Students are able to alter test answers after the fact—through additional research/working with other students—and resubmit exam responses for additional partial credit.
Motivation/Value: The classic “What’s in it for me.” Introduce topic then give a clinical example of its use/value to our profession, then teach the concept.
I use a desk critique, where I move from desk-to-desk to give students feedback and feedforward on their individual projects based on a project rubric. I pose questions about the project, and the student can ask me specific questions. Other students continue to work on their projects and can also critique other students’ work based on the project rubric.
Building community in an online class: Self-select groups by common interests. Next, discuss the topic. Then, I break into groups varied by interests and they discuss again.
Overcoming generation gap between myself (instructor) and students (18-20). Remind them and ask them to evoke days of grandmas and grandpas. What it was like in those days.
The traditional working in groups always helps to obtain MATCH in our post-graduate classes.
Community: Have students get involved in groups and participate in a service learning project in our local community. The students have to find a need in the community and then develop a project.
Community: Students work in groups of 4. I reform the groups several times in the term based on student background/preparation and student surveys (who do they want to work with).
Clarify how knowledge that is being taught is important to students’ future work and/or life. Students will value only what they believe they need to know and will use in work/life.
Problem based learning in groups. Assigning a facilitator in the group and then pick an idea that there isn’t a right answer. You can use concept mapping. First, students present the problem. Second, they find resources and list them. Third, they investigate solutions to the problem and list them. Fourth, they identify the three best solutions. Last, they pick the best one and provide the reason.
Motivation: At the beginning of class, before I distribute the syllabus or discuss my goals/objectives for the course, I ask students to write down at least three goals that they have for the course. This helps them to begin to take ownership for their own learning.
I ask my students (every week), why are you here? I note week one and compare it with the final week. Typical observation: growing ambition.
Motivation and Value: I get my students to stop thinking like a student, rather think like a teacher (or a professional in their field) to see the value of the activities and assignments in the course.
To show complexity of stepfamilies: Using students, have them show relationships. Use red yarn to symbolize relationships between members of a step family, from nuclear family divorce to step family formations.
People respond to genuine concern for their well-being. Therefore, I build a relationship with each student and explain to them what all of their hard-work will likely result in for their future.
For Motivation: Expectancy. In my math course, I frequently use a Learning Management Systems (LMS). I get due dates for assignments, but allow students to continue working for credit so they won’t feel as though some essential part of the course has “passed them by.”
Motivation: Show real world applications and explain the concept. Then show a company/research group that has made an advance or product.
Community: Break the class into groups that all have similar projects. Facebook groups.
To develop a sense of community, I have new students play a Jeopardy game on foundation material that is covered in the 1st class. It’s done in 2 groups, 2 students do the scoring while 2 students do the timer. It’s fun, knowledge based, non confrontational, and they get to know each other.
Have every student introduce themselves; tell the class where they are from and what their major is, then move on to the next student. He/she renames the 1st student. Then he/she tells the class about themselves and gives their name, and so on. It goes around the whole class until they can name everyone in the room.
Knowledge Repository: POGIL (process oriented guided inquiry learning). Starting out in one’s comfort zone, but building up to a more complex understanding all in one activity.
Active Learning: I occasionally divide the assigned chapter up among the students, and give everyone 10 minutes to come up with a 1 minute presentation to the class. The students have at least read a few pages, and they talk to each other instead of listening to me.
Use a student designed rubric.
Active learning—knowledge reposition: I have my students take on the role of one component of a DNA molecule (sugar, phosphate, or base). They then have to construct a DNA double-helix with their fellow students.
Community: Require students to buy a “blue book” to take quizzes. It helps with getting to know their names quicker, to help promote a sense of community.
Motivation: Academic Writing. Successful text models from previous students shows accessibility of goal, plus creativity, and individuality. Post the models on Black Board online course system.
Active learning: Allocate different segments of a topic to different groups. Have each group discuss their area among themselves and then come up to the front and explain their idea (their portion).
Students are required to analyze literature, bring a modern version of the text, and present a visual aide, without the use of the internet. Often, they do not know how to start, but become so creative, far beyond what they thought possible.
Active learning: Student #1 explains/summarizes to student #2 how to do a particular type of problem. Student #2 explains/summarizes to student #1 another major concept.
Students in a Federal Taxation course create an original tax for case for another group to solve. They must create all their own documents, no written case allowed, just original “real” documents. This is to simulate the “real life” client who comes to their tax preparer with a shoebox.
Community: Day 1, pair students to introduce themselves. Then the partner introduces the person they met, to the class.
When teaching Theories of Personality, I have students study one theory over the semester. At the end, they dress as therapist and we all come together and debate: the theory of Freud, Jung, etc.
Holistic: When my students do writing projects, I have them apply what they’ve learned by interviewing someone, during naturalistic observation, or writing about a movie outside of the classroom.
I think of my classes as 15-20 minute chunks of time rather than 1-2 hours. In each chunk, I take a holistic approach to teaching and try to keep my students actively engaged through various instructional strategies.
I encourage input from the students throughout the semester so that they have an opportunity to share what they want to gain from the class, how they value (or not) the things I do and have them do, and make assessment opportunities regular and fairly evenly weighted (plus add “bonus” options) so that they feel like they have been and are “setup to be successful.”
I have decided to embrace the use of cell-phones to keep in touch with my students. I have joined Twitter, created a group for my students to follow, and invite all my students to receive and send tweets, via cell-phone.
Motivation: If this course/program was easy, everybody would choose it. The more value you add to you credential.
Use blogging or Twitter to have students share class suggestions for increasing their engagement.
I have the students work together on homework problems in class. In classes like Physical Science, this helps a great deal.
When a student engages in course dialogue, I write a note thanking them as their classmates and I enjoyed their participation and how important their questions and comments are to educators and their students. I also include that I hope they continue to share in all courses. This helps encourage participation, especially from those who seldom do.
In order for students to be motivated and to approach teaching holistically, the student is needed to reflect on to make all they are learning or projects they are doing, relevant to their growth or career path.
Always allow for feedback.
In a class or two, I have been known to stand on a table, then sit, then jump off and crawl on the floor to demonstrate the hierarchy on insurance audits.
Creative triggers: I use myself as a model and perform as task and the students are excited to try it out.
Team-based Learning: Students perform a task individually and then attempt it as a group.
Motivation: Tell students they can be successful and that I will be there to make sure they are, as will their colleagues.
Active learning: They must try out their projects in the “real world.”
Motivation: Students are a given a rubric and the instructional objectives for the course. They design the course based on their needs, desires and interests.
“Name It”: Name the drug or drug classification in______ (# of clues). Class is divided into 2 groups and they take turns guessing with the # of clues.
When students give exemplary answers to essay questions, they get to read them to the group.
Create a sense of community throughout the whole program (freshman to seniors) by developing a web page that is specifically for that program and that is interactive.
I use quotes on the board that are either linked to motivation or to the content of the day’s lecture; authorship is diverse.
Recognize and sustain the “cool” in everyone and challenge the students to move from “pretend cool” to “cool.”
I use service-learning as a pedagogical base in all of my courses. It typically covers all of the MATCH components as well as all domains (cognitive, affective, psychomotor, and moral).
Done away with high-stakes exams.
Active Learning: Use testing as a continuation of active learning instead of as a stopping point.
Remove fear/anxiety and increase expectations of success by: allowing students to redo/resubmit work or problems for regarding/assessment. They work and learn from their mistakes, but are not punished for their mistakes.
I have a particularly new and challenging assignment for students. They repeat the assignment 4 times in the semester. The first is worth just a few percent, so they’re not penalized too heavily. But the last is worth considerably more, indicating that I expect them to improve.
Motivation: I teach occupational therapy and instead of starting with a deductive approach, I pretend to be a patient and have the students ask me questions as they would when assessing a patient and then move to critique of what the class did—when were they on target, what did they fail to identify, when did they go astray, etc.
I have students gather classified ads (www.nytimes.com) for jobs that they think they are getting the skills for in this class.
Students have graded homework that corresponds to each exam. If they receive a 90% or better on all said assignments, they earn 5 extra points for the exam.
It is imperative to make the student feel that he/she is a part of the community if learning by seeking the input in the development of the curriculum. I require each student to develop objectives for what they want to get out of the class at the beginning of the class and they have to develop an evaluation component at the end of the semester to test whether they have met their goals. These two evaluations comprise 10% of the student’s grade.
Holistic: For my doctoral studies I would like to develop and assessment tool for evaluating affective learning—do a validity/reliability. One of the assignments I use is for students to explore an ethical/legal issue encountered in the clinical setting and how that experience changed their value/belief/attitude or not.
Living Concept Maps: During a case study, have the students in groups of 4-5, actively create a concept map as the case study is unfolding—adapting and changing it as new data becomes available. At the end, share the concept maps and see how different/similar they are and explore those.
Motivation: “A, B, Not Yet.” Students are told from the beginning of class that they will either earn an A, a B, or a “not yet.” No option for C, D, or F. If their score on a test is “not yet,” they will remediate and retest until they have an A or B. Students feel like the instructor believes they’re capable and is willing to put in the effort to help them get there.
I have used selected readings on issues such as domestic violence from CQ Global Researcher for developmental English. The readings may include personal narratives from the international arena. Students will then post their personal responses and respond to 2 classmates in an electronic iCollege (Blackboard) discussion post. The assignment encourages critical thinking and globalization. It also creates a learning community.
On the first day of class, create partnerships.
Active Learning: “Product Development” course to reinforce how inspiration is the key to the creative process, students are required to go to specific environments they may not have experience previously (museum exhibits, home furnishings retailers, interior design studios, commuter hubs, etc.). Then they need to report what they observed applying the principals of design discussed in class: color, texture, detail, and shape.