One of my introverted junior colleagues asked for suggestions on how to keep students engaged for a 3 hour block class without completely exhausting him and also to make sure they don’t skip the readings before class. Here’s some of my suggestions.
I really like Boice’s suggestion with teaching, “get them to do the work,” and keep that in mind when I’m coming up with new class preps.
Here’s some more targeted suggestions:
– Provide them with discussion questions to go along with their readings, then hit those discussion questions in class discussion. Since everybody will have something written down, you can cold-call and/or round robin around the table to get everyone’s answers.
– Have them come up with discussion questions. Have them post the discussion questions online prior to class for everyone to read.
– Ask them to present on specific topics. (I find presenting about the details of different public programs to be kind of boring, so I’ll let them pick off a list for one of my classes. It’s something they can present on without a huge amount of econ knowledge.)
– Have them find literature or news stories that directly relate to the topic for the week.
– Have them follow people of interest on Twitter and pick a tweet or two that deal with the topics of interest in you class. You can start class going around the table and asking them about what’s going on in current events based on their twitter feeds.
– Cancel regular class prior to a major written assignment but require them to stop by your office individually to get feedback on their papers prior to submission.
– Have them workshop each other’s papers in class. (Your campus writing center may have resources to help you do this.)
– In-class exercises
– Guest lecture
– Ask the library for help on research
– Show videos, discuss the videos
What suggestions do you have for breaking up long classes and keeping students engaged?