Engaging Students

Monday, April 15th -- 3-4:30 pm -- Room S5

Student engagement: This workshop will demo super-cool activities that will get your students laughing, thinking and learning -- Presenter: Carole Meagher -- Independent FLEX credit: I.S13-829

A review of a variety of student-engagement activities:

  • Lost at Sea Ranking Chart -- students get a list of salvaged items and have to 1) individually prioritize them by what is most important to their lifeboat, then 2) discuss with a larger group/team and create a team prioritization. Outcomes: value the learning achieved by a team and see how much better decisions are when we gather info from many sources. TEAM WORK!
  • Group drawing -- in a group of 2, 3, or 4, students use different-color pens to create a group drawing (concept sketch) on a particular topic, such as: where is everyone in this class coming from? Different learning styles? Put together an experiment to answer a particular science question. What's the best way to make a salad? (Outcomes: better understanding and synthesis of course CONTENT + team teaching)
  • Picking up vibes -- in groups of 2, have a conversation in which each person must do the opposite physically of the other person while talking (facial expressions, physical movements) OR each must be a mirror of the other OR each reads a script with different assigned characters, and one reads their part while having a particular emotion (deep sadness), while the other has the opposite (full happiness). Outcome: learn how to read and respond to a partner. Team work.
  • Recognizing character types -- Everyone is assigned 1 of 4 cards with the name of their character -- Analytical, Driver, Expressive, Amiable -- based on the Responsive/Assertive traits as follows: Analytical = Low assertive, low responsive | Amiable = low assertive, high responsive | Driver = low responsive, high assertive | Expressive = high assertive, high responsive. Without showing their card to their classmates, students mingle and act out their character while their classmates try to guess what it is. Outcomes. recognize the different types of individuals one might face in a sales environment and understand what their behavior represents.
  • The 5 stages of grief -- 5 cards with a description of the stage and typical language that might be used by folks in a work situation experiencing one of these stages due to a major change in the company. Students are assigned a card and mill around talking with others and trying to identify what stage the other person is in by their language. Outcomes: reading and responding to a partner.
    MODIFICATION: pick a controversial subject in your discipline and assign 5 different roles (educator, politician, local home owner, related business owner, etc.), and have students engage.
  • Yes/No -- taking sides -- make room spit in half -- one half yes, the other no. Students pick a side BEFORE the issue is even mentioned. Split front board in half -- with titles (YES | NO). Vertical line that separates sides is also a scale, with 1 on bottom and 5 on top (quality of idea). Horizontal line at base of board has a scale with 1 on opposite ends of board and 5 at the center line (enthusiasm). NOTE: A ranking of 5 for quality of idea and 5 for enthusiasm puts score at top center of board. Designate 3 judges. Describe scenario/question/issue. Each team (Yes/No) gets together and generates arguments that support their answer (on sticky notes). Judges prepare to "grade" these answers on a scale from 1-5 for quality of idea and 1-5 for enthusiasm when presented. Judges review what they think arguments will be and practice how they will grade them. Then each group sends one person at a time to board to present idea (enthusiastically). Judges grade it (quickly -- no hassles), and place the sticky note on board in correct location for grade (using scale). By end of presentations, the team with the most ideas at the top center, they are the winners. Outcomes: present ideas -- understand the challenges of controversial issues -- value the ideas and thinking regardless of whether you believe in it or not -- judging value in an idea.
  • Put 10 pictures of famous people around the room. Ask questions of students that will require them to move to the picture of the person they'd most want the answer/action from. For example: Who would you  most want to have dinner with? Who would you go to for relationship issues/consultation? Who would you most go to with a work problem? If students don't like any of the options, they can use crayons and paper to draw an image of someone else to add to the mix (friend, colleague, etc.) Outcome: understand that each person has their own strengths -- and not all people are best able to address all situations. Recognize the traits of leadership and how it's best served by a team effort. Modifications: 10 people who are often or might be consulted regarding a particular issue, such as Climate Change (politicians, community leaders, residents of countries affected more greatly by sea level rise or pollution, friends, scientists in related field, scientists in unrelated field).