Guidelines for Building Interaction into Recitations

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Agenda. Guidelines for asking and answering questionsGuidelines for using ?seatwork"Guidelines for using student teams. . To Encourage Participation. Make the classroom a safe environment where it is O.K. to make mistakesSet norms and expectations early in the semester (from the first class)Us

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Guidelines for Building Interaction into Recitations

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1. Guidelines for Building Interaction into Recitations The Staff of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory MIT

2. Agenda Guidelines for asking and answering questions Guidelines for using “seatwork” Guidelines for using student teams

3. To Encourage Participation Make the classroom a safe environment where it is O.K. to make mistakes Set norms and expectations early in the semester (from the first class) Use “active learning” techniques Know your students’ names

4. Guidelines for Asking Questions Phrasing is all important Wait for an answer If you don’t get an answer, try rephrasing or simplifying the question If you “cold call” (ask students who have not raised their hands to answer a question): Be fair in your calling patterns Save face for the students

5. Guidelines for Answering Questions If you are answering a question Make sure you understand the question Make sure everyone else hears the question Check that you have answered the question asked If the students are answering a question Respond positively to a good answer Identify a wrong answer as wrong, but save face for the student

6. Guidelines for Doing “Seatwork”: Assigning the Problem Devise criteria for selecting problems Representative of material covered in lecture? Similar to problems on quizzes and exams? Related to the hardest concepts? Solvable in 10-15 minutes? Decide on your policy regarding groups Can students work alone? If not, can they form their own groups?

7. Guidelines for Doing “Seatwork”: Doing the Problem Ask students to face one another After a bit, circulate among the groups Give groups who are having problems hints Encourage students with questions to talk to one another Give students who find the problem easy a harder one!

8. Guidelines for Doing “Seatwork”: Reviewing the Problem Focus on key idea, key skill, etc. in solving the problem Ask for student input Discussion Board work “Tell me” Be open to all solutions (but remember all solutions are not created equal)

9. Guidelines for Teaching with Teams Communicate the importance of teamwork Provide guidelines for success Create effective assignments Monitor progress Provide support

10. Communicate the Importance of Teamwork Send the message early that teamwork will count Cite credible authorities who support teamwork Set clear policies Possible other actions Organize a teamwork workshop Assign readings on teamwork Create a teamwork problem set

11. Student Guidelines for Successful Teamwork Differentiate between task and process Communicate Listen Observe Give feedback Three concrete suggestions Use a facilitator Create group norms Create a work breakdown structure

12. Create Effective Assignments Assignments must foster Positive interdependence Face to face interaction Individual accountability Clearly define the assignment and its task and process goals Breakdown assignment for small wins Determine grading policy

13. Monitor Progress on Both Task and Process Student responsibilities (e.g.) Team progress reports Journals E-mail submissions Instructor responsibilities (e.g.) Observe and collect data on groups Meet with groups Be available to intervene if problems arise

14. Identify Common Problems “Free rider” Logistics Differences in commitment to course Inability to delegate tasks Lack of communication Cultural or gender differences Personality conflicts

15. Find Solutions Come to an agreement about what the problem is Get team members listening and talking Help with negotiation Teach conflict resolution Look for creative solutions Monitor effectiveness of solution

16. Handling the Challenges If no one says anything . . . If someone gives the wrong answer . . . The student whose hand is always up The student who never participates The student who doesn’t want to work in a group The team that is in conflict

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