Increasing Student Participation

Teach students to collaborate before expecting success. Doing group work, peer review, and other collaborative activities without prior training can lead to confusion and dead time in class. For maximum success, teach collaboration skills before starting group projects. ONE IDEA: Introduce peer review workshops at the beginning of the semester using a Fish Bowl approach. […]

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Listen: Favorite Active Learning Strategies

In this interview with Nathan Loewen, Margaret Peacock talks about her favorite active learning strategies, including a creative project and a collaborative reading exercise. A few of the questions asked: What are your favorite teaching strategies? How do you make the learning stick? About the Speaker Margaret Peacock is an associate professor of history, Leadership Board Faculty Fellow, […]

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Students’ Opinions Instruction are In! Now What?

Computer, headphones, and coffee mug on a desk

Sometimes there is a considerable difference between a professor’s evaluation of a course and those of the students. The divergence can work in either direction. Perhaps a “terrible” experience for the professor was “absolutely brilliant” for the students. Let’s be honest, however: the opposite situation is difficult news. What are the next steps when a professor […]

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Lurkers, Surfers, and Free-riders: Is Under-Participation a Problem?

arrows pointing to over-participation and under-participation

The group project regularly begets under-participation. No student situation in college teaching better illustrates the free-rider phenomenon. Perhaps Homer Simpson demonstrates the free-rider phenomenon best. Individuals who receive collective benefits without contributing are common in group work. One or more students in a group project can easily slack off while only one student fulfills the assignment requirements. The online discussion forum, like […]

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How to Get Away with Murder, or How to Kill Student Participation

There is a television show on ABC where a professor takes five students under the wing. The teacher is charismatic, unconventional and named Professor Keating. The plot quickly differs from that of the earlier Professor John Keating in Dead Poets Society, except for one thing: both of them get away with murder. Their command of the classroom kills student […]

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