Do you want students who
- attend class more regularly?
- are more engaged with class material?
- learn concepts more deeply?
- retain what they learn longer?
Then get interactive!
A growing body of research shows that more interactive instructional approaches can improve student learning, attendance and engagement, relative to traditional lectures (e.g., Deslauriers, et al, 2011, Hake, 1998). These methods include simple, quick interventions like asking students to discuss a question briefly with a neighbor (think-pair-share) or using a popular song to get students thinking about how a topic applies outside the classroom, to more complex activities like small-group debates or having students engage in a double-oral auction market.
“Flipping” the classroom
For instructors who wish to adopt more active techniques in the classroom, one challenge can be finding the time – active approaches typically take more time than lectures to ‘cover’ the same material. One way to free up class time is to move some material outside of class. This approach is often called ‘flipping’ the classroom, because instead of lecturing on basic material in class and having students work through problems and applications as homework after class, this process is ‘flipped’ so students acquire basic material as homework before class and then work on applying and synthesizing that material in class. For more information about flipping, the following resources are a good place to start:
popular song to get students thinking about how a topic applies outside the classroom, to more complex activities like small-group debates or having students engage in a double-oral auction market.
What do I DO?
Another challenge for those new to interactive learning is figuring out what to do instead of lecture. Fortunately, you’re in the right place! Providing ideas for in-class activities is the purpose of this site – just click on Resources by Topic to get started.