Curriculum Laboratory EDCI 5830
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Date Created: 09/17/15
Tips for Teachers Participatory Lectures Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning Harvard University ONLINE DOCUMENT TIPS FOR TEACHERS TWENTY WAYS TO MAKE LECTURES MORE PARTICIPATORY Lectures play a Vital role in teaching There will always be a place for lectures in the curriculum to give technical material or factual information to provide structure to material or an argument to display a method or example of how one thinks in a given field or even to inspire and motivate students to explore further At the same time it often enhances both your presentation of the material and students learning when students are able to participate in some way When students engage actively with material they generally understand it better and remember it longer Asking for student participation highlights the distinction between faculty covering material and students learning it Student participation often results in covering less material during a semester Yet it also can mean that students learn more material than in a traditional lecture course because they truly grasp the fundamentals and have more chances to clear up confusion Large numbers of students in class does not preclude interaction The following list of ways to open up lectures to student participation have been used in classes of up to 1200 students as well as in smaller groups Note If you decide to invite student participation in lectures consider beginning with the very first lecture when norms and expectations for class are being established It is more difficult to engage students in a large lecture class later if they are accustomed to being silent If you decide to ask students to participate in lectures later in the term give a short introduction or explanation about your change in strategy Beginning the lecture or course 1 Begin the course or the lecture with a question or questions which help you to understand what students are thinking quotWhat are some of the differences between clinical medicine and public healthquot quotHow do we interpret medical research findings For example the response rate for one regimen is 23 and another treatment showed a 40 response rate How can we interpret these numbers What other information would we want to knowquot quotWhat would be a feminist perspective on contraceptive researchquot quotWhat are some examples of marginalized populationsquot quotWhat image do you have of people who have HIV or AIDSquot 2 Begin the course or the lecture by posing a problem and eliciting several answers or solutions from the students The lecture can then go on to explore and build on the suggestions that emerge from the discussion For example quotWhen you think about the definition of epidemiology what possible mewr1 T 39 39 we ktnpTFTlecmre html 1 of54292008 103607 AM Tips for Teachers Participatory Lectures applications of this methodology come to mindquot quotWhat are some underlying biological factors for poor health statusquot quotWhat are some reasons people may not have health insurancequot 3 An interesting way to introduce topics you will cover in a course and to find out students assumptions is to ask students to jot down answers to some questions on their own and then combine answers in a small group Examples from a precourse survey quotList up to 10 major environmental disasters Name up to 10 health disorders in which environmental agents are causative list the 10 etiologic agents ldentify up to 10 national US or other environmental laws and the problems they address ldentify the kinds of data needed to characterize an environmental health hazard List the steps in quantitative risk assessment Which steps require both epidemiology and biostatistics quot Inviting participation 4 Create an atmosphere that encourages student participation by using a conversational tone and not criticizing student questions or comments in front of the class Students take a risk when they talk39 you need to deal tactfully with their contributions Your body language whether you hold yourself in a stiff or relaxed manner also in uences student participation Consider moving closer to the students rather than speaking from behind the podium Explain your reasons for varying the traditional lecture style Students more willingly participate in class if they understand the rationale behind an approach that may be unfamiliar 5 If you want students to talk look at them Some teachers call on students Some teachers never call on students this is a matter of strong personal preference Asking students to speak in class is easier to do if they use name cards or if you have learned their names This will encourage them to use each others names as well people are more likely to talk when they know each other Some students will be too shy to speak in a large group at least at first If speaking in class is the norm and everyone is expected to do it you can call on everyone in good faith perhaps calling on better prepared and bolderstudents rst and asking easier questions later of the quieter students 6 Invite challenges to your ideas This can lead to lively debates and shows that students are thinking and engaging with the material Also invite questions You may have to help students new to a field know how to challenge or question One way to do this is to present different points of view on any given topic and then state why you believe a certain view best accounts for the evidence Decide whether you are comfortable with interruptions or whether you want to have a question time at the end 7 When a student asks a question instead of answering yourself ask for an answer from other members of the class In a large group always repeat a question or paraphrase a response before going on so that all students can hear and understand this is especially important when students in the class do not speak English as a native language le 1 T 39 39 3979 ktnpTFTlecmre html 2 of54292008 103608 AM Tips for Teachers Participatory Lectures Punctuating the lecture with questions 8 Ask questions throughout the lecture so that the lecture becomes more of a conversation Asking students to raise their hands for example quotWhat is the direction of the data increasing decreasingquot is easier than asking them to speak Questions with surprising answers can engage students interest for example quotWhat is the probability that two people in this room have the same birthdayquot Generally questions are more evocative if you are not looking for one right answer The most fruitful questions are thoughtprovoking and often counterintuitive For example when comparing health indicators of different countries ask students to guess where the U S or their country of origin ranks Discuss the link between socioeconomic status and health ask students to predict changes over time For example quotDo you think it has gotten better or worse in your country over the last twenty yearsquot 9 Pause in the lecture after making a major point Show students a multiplechoice question based on the material you have been talking about Example quotIf the incidence rate of tuberculosis TB increased due to an increase in immunocompromised AIDS patients but the duration of tuberculosis infections remained the same the prevalence of TB would a increase b decrease or c not changequot Ask students to vote on the right answer and then turn to their neighbors to persuade them of the answer within the space of two minutes talking to a few people is easier than speaking up in a large group When time is up ask them to vote a second time Usually far more students arrive at the correct answer when voting the second time 10 If readings have been assigned for a class refer to them so their purpose is clear You may ask questions about the readings from time to time individuals or groups might be asked ahead of time to prepare short presentations of their interpretations of the readings 11 When using slides maps or handouts ask students what they see before you tell them what you see Use these devices to help students think about a problem as you introduce it For example show a map of where cases occurred during an epidemic Ask the students quotAs an investigator of the outbreak what questions might you want to askquot Show a table of data about a country birth rate death rate population per cent of population with heart disease number of nurses per capita money spent on health per capita GNP etc Ask quotWhat do these data tell us Where would you begin to explore What kinds of questions could we answer and howquot Varying the format 12 To vary the traditional lecture format ask students by section to make presentations do role plays illustrate a position dramatically debate a point Or ask TAs to give short presentations on areas of their expertise Then invite the whole class to discuss the points illustrated 13 For debates in a large group divide the room into two or four groups assigning one role or position to each group Have the groups caucus separately to develop their positions before the le 1 T 39 39 3979 ktnpTFTlecmre html 3 of54292008 103608 AM Tips for Teachers Participatory Lectures debate begins For example in discussing the positive and negative aspects of a policy approach or community health intervention divide the room in half for split brainstorming sessions one group focusing on the positive and the other focusing on the negative If there is time have the groups switch positions Or use the format of public hearings with one group representing those who have called the hearings and other groups representing the different protagonists 14 Use cases to exemplify the issues you want to convey and conduct the class as a case discussion rather than as a lecture Cases are particularly useful for practical howto teaching situations for problemsolving or showing how experts solve problems for situations in which there are a number of right answers for integrating and applying complex information In public health cases can demonstrate policy and management problems stimulate discussion of various ethical issues in health care or provide realistic examples of the application of theory and particular methodologies of health care practice 15 Stop the lecture and ask students to write for one or two minutes in response to a particular question Then ask them to discuss the question The writing will give everyone a chance to think about and articulate a response and may enable broader participation 16 Let students go to the board to write the results of work in a small group For example in the first part of class ask for the strengths and weaknesses of an intervention study Then divide the room into groups each with the task of designing a better study with the same exposure and outcome Groups can go to the board preferable to asking one student at a time to be at the front of the room and a spokesperson can present the group s ideas Closing the lecture 17 Allow time for questions at the end of lecture Ask if there are any questions or if students would like to have a point clari ed If your schedule permits come early to lecture or stay late to answer questions and engage in discussion with students If you are available five or ten minutes before and after class some students will talk with you more readily and you will get to know them and their thoughts If beginning early and ending late creates a con ict for other colleagues assigned to lecture in the same room talk with students in the halls before and after class 18 Use lectures to set up problems or propose study questions for discussion that students are expected to prepare for lab or section End the lecture with a provocative question Ask the TAs to begin lab with a discussion of that problem or issue 19 At the end of your lecture or at any other appropriate stopping point give students a one question quotquizquot based on the material just covered in the class Ask them to answer the question collectively Leave the room so that they can discuss the question for ten or fifteen minutes Then return and have them report their answer39 discuss with them the reasons for their choice le 1 T 39 39 3979 ktnpTFTlecmre html 4 of54292008 103608 AM Tips for Teachers Participatory Lectures 20 Do a oneminute paper at the end of class In this exercise students write down what they consider a the main point of the class and b the main question they still have as they leave You can use some of these questions to begin the next lecture or students can be asked to bring them to section or lab One advantage of this technique is that students may listen more carefully and review their notes thoughtfully Adapted from Participatory Lectures Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning 1992 Revised for distribution at the Harvard School of Public Health 1994 Comments and suggestions are welcome Ellen Sarkisian Thanks to the following faculty and teaching assistants for their suggestions about questions related to public health lain Aitken Paul Catalano Marlene Goldman Lynn Marshall Marcello Pagano Sherri Stuver Ann Scheck Copyright 0 20022006 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College Permission is granted to nonpro t educational institutions to print and distribute this document for internal use provided that the Bok Center s authorship and copyright are acknowledged Derek Bok Center for Science Center 318 Teaching and Learning One Oxford Street Harvard University Cambridge MA 021382901 Voice 617 4954869 Fax 617 4953739 httpbokcenterharvardedu le 1 r 39 39 3979 ktnpTFTlecmre html 5 of54292008 103608 AM Getting students to read before class r 1 httpwww nth edit lo r39 I 39 J htm Reference 2 IDEA papers 40 from the IDEA CENTER at httpwwwideaksuedu 1 When the class has a new reading assignment I have my students in Introduction to Industrial Engineering meet in 3person teams for 1015 minutes at the start of class Each team comes up with I Important points from the reading and II Questions about the reading Each team reports to the class and I compile the two lists which become our basis for discussing the reading I tell the class that I may sometimes add items that I think they missed but I rarely need to do that Jane M Fraser Chair Department of Engineering Colorado State UniversityPueblo 2 Students hand in an abstract or other short summary of the day39s required reading Each ofthese summaries becomes a quotsurvival cardquot a sort of cheat sheet that they are allowed to use for an upcoming test or exam One nice thing about this is that you don39t have to mark them and the students are motivated to make the quality good because the cards will be of practical use later on From Barbara Gross Davis39s Tools for Teaching book 3 We use an quotAdmission Ticketquot concept that works fairly well Basically an assignment or task that has to be completed before the student can enter the classthus an quotAdmission Ticketquot works for both a facetoface or online class Examples include an online test or quiz to be completed before coming to class over the reading assignment a paper assignment to be handed in as you enter class questions completed as a preIab for a lab class completed math problems posting in an online Discussion Board etc Janice M Kinsinger Director Instructional Innovation Faculty Development and Learning Resources Illinois Central College 4 I give a TF quiz on main ideas the day after a reading assignment before any discussion Students take the quiz quickly and the while I grade them they get into groups oftwo orthree and take it again this time having to justify their answers to each other and agree on their joint response Afterthese are turned in we go through the answers The items are all mainidea basic definition items with little analysis needed The quiz the student interaction and finally my discussion of the answers helps to implant the main ideas from the reading a little more rmly than simply reading does to get them ready for the deeper discussion that follows Vicki Robinson Associate Professor of Physics National Technical Institute for the Deaf Rochester Institute of Technology 5 Cues First it is axiomatic that a teacher accompany any reading assignment with a clear statement ofthe purpose or direction ofthe reading It is ineffective simply to say to students Read these pages or that chapter for Friday Give students a set of study questions Explain what they should look for in the assigned readings Give them cues on what is most important or what in the reading they will be responsible for 7 Quizzes A common tactic and often student detested is the pop quiz Such a quiz can be effective if students know what will be tested if the quizzes purposes are clear if the questions perhaps promote discussion and learning or if the quizzes are given regularly Or to encourage students to read before class give them a set of short essay questions one of which will be used for a fiveminute quiz at the beginning of the next class These quizzes assure preparation and are easy to grade 8 Study questions from teachers Accompany each reading assignment with key study questions Alert students they may be called on randomly to answer those questionsin class 9 Discussion questions from students At the beginning of class invite each student to submit at least two questions for discussion Then call on students at random to respond to the studentgenerated questions 10 Summaries Assign students at the beginning of class to submit a concise summary ofthe main points of the assigned material or a personal response to some part of the reading assignment 11 Syllabus At the beginning of the semester include in the syllabus a precise calendar of assignments along with explicit counsel on how to succeed in the class general reading objectives reading and test preparation strategies perhaps even sample test questions 12 Less is more Discuss with students the reasonableness of the reading load you assign lfthe load is heavy then perhaps the students need help with how to handle it Perhaps the load is simply too heavy 13 The ideal Create in the classroom such fervor and interest in upcoming assignments that students cannot restrain themselves from coming to class prepared 14 Jigsaw Each student is responsible for some quotpiecequot that is then shared with a group for an activity What I39ve done is have students divide a large reading activity among the group each person taking responsibility for reading learning summarizing and then sharing and teaching the information to the rest ofthe group When students quotmissquot the assignment the peer pressure is far more persuasive than anything I could do Syndicate Students are responsible for learning the material for a presentation Like the Jigsaw this works because the group cannot operate without the missing piece and the added presentation focus makes this a bigger issue Students also see the value of group work when the group works I explain that in the real world group projects span the regular assignments and must be quotsharedquot as we do in my class
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