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Participatory Lecture. Adapted from Participatory Lectures , Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, 1992. Revised for distribution at the Harvard School of Public Health, 1994. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Ellen Sarkisian (495-4869; [email protected]) .

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Participatory lecture l.jpg

Participatory Lecture

Adapted from Participatory Lectures, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, 1992.

Revised for distribution at the Harvard School of Public Health, 1994.

Comments and suggestions are welcome. Ellen Sarkisian (495-4869; [email protected])

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Beginning the Lecture

  • Question(s)

    • help you to understand what students are thinking

      • About previous material

      • About readings for the day

For example, for one of our chapters in class I might ask – what was the big idea you got from the reading that you can apply to your unit building so far?

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Beginning the Lecture

  • Pose a problem

    • Elicit several answers

    • Build on the suggestions from discussion

For example, “Marta is a visual learner, and she uses lots of lectures and examples. A wiggly student is giving her a lot of problems in class – what could be the problem? What is the solution?”

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Beginning the Lecture

  • Think-pair-share

    • to introduce topics

    • to find out students' assumptions

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Invite Participation

  • Encourage participation

    • Be conversational

    • Be uncriticle

  • Body language

    • Move closer to the students

    • Explain your reasons for varying the traditional lecture style.

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Encourage community

  • Look at them

    • Call on students.

    • Use name cards

      • Encourage using each others' names

      • People are more likely to talk when they know each other.

      • Some students shy

        • Make speaking in class is the norm

        • Everyone is expected to do it

        • Calling on better prepared --and bolder--students first

        • Asking easier questions later of the quieter ones.

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Be Invitational

  • Invite challenges to your ideas

  • Invite questions.

    • Present different points of view

    • State why you believe a certain view best accounts for the evidence

This is the KY Teacher Standard about multiple perspectives – VIII-d

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Student Questions

  • When a student asks a question, instead of answering yourself,

    • Ask another students

    • Always repeat a question or paraphrase a response before going on

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Sprinkle in Questions

  • Ask questions throughout the lecture

    • Asking students to raise their hands

    • Questions with surprising answers can engage students' interest (for example, "What is the probability that two people in this room have the same birthday?")

    • Open-ended (HOTQ)

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Comprehension Check

  • Pause in the lecture after making a major point.

    • Use a multiple-choice question based on the material

    • 2-minute vote

      • Ask students to vote on the right answer

      • turn to their neighbors

      • persuade them to vote for their answer

    • When time is up, ask them to vote a second time.

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Which of the following are effective anticipatory sets?

  • Visual

  • Listing lesson objectives

  • Video clip

  • Beginning the lecture

  • HOTQ

  • Quickwrite

  • Bell-ringer

  • Posing a problem

  • Grading homework

  • Quiz quiz

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  • Refer to assigned readings so their purpose is clear.

    • Ask questions about the readings from time to time;

    • Ask individuals or groups

      • ahead of time

      • prepare short presentations of their interpretations of the readings.

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Learning Communities

When you walk into a ____1____ where students are actively engaged in ___2____ and are ____3_____ with the teacher and others, you can almost feel the __4___ vibrations given off by the class. Students want to be ____5___ and ___6____ , and they enjoy working ___7____. This type of __8___, however, doesn’t happen by chance. __9____ take deliberate actions to establish a __10____, responsible classroom so that students choose to ____11__ and make efforts to be academically ____12_____.

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Wait time


High-order thinking

Remain quiet


Two seconds



Write a paragraph

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Lecture Visuals

  • When using slides, maps, or handouts,

    • ask students what they see before you tell them

      • Use these devices:

        • What do these data tell us?

        • Where would you begin to explore?

        • What kinds of questions could we answer and how?

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Vary the Format

  • Ask students, by section, to:

    • make presentations,

    • do role plays,

    • illustrate a position dramatically,

    • debate a point.

    • Invite the whole class to discuss the points illustrated.

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Large Group Debate

  • Divide the room into two or four groups

    • Assigning one role or position to each group.

    • Have the groups caucus separately to develop their positions

    • If there is time, have the groups switch positions.

    • Or use the format of public hearings

      • one group representing those who have called the hearings

      • other groups representing the different protagonists.

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Case Studies

  • Conduct the class as a case discussion

    • For practical, how-to teaching situations;

    • For problem-solving or showing how experts solve problems;

    • For situations in which there are a number of right answers;

    • For integrating and applying complex information.

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Pause - Move

  • Stop the lecture

    • Ask students to write for one or two minutes in response to a particular question.

    • Ask them to discuss the question.

  • Let students go to the board to write the results of work in a small group

    • Divide the room into groups, each with same task

    • Ask one student at a time to be at the front of the room

    • A spokesperson can present the group's ideas.

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Closing the Lecture

  • Allow time for questions at the end

    • Provocative Question

    • Set up problems

    • Propose study questions for next class

  • Would students like to have a point clarified?

  • If your schedule permits, come early to class or stay late

    • in the halls before and after class.

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End of Lecture

  • Give students a one-question "quiz,"

    • Ask them to answer the question collectively.

    • Leave the room

    • Let them discuss the question for ten or fifteen minutes.

    • Return and have them report their answer

    • Discuss with them the reasons for their choice.

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Close the lecture

  • Do a one-minute paper

    • Students write down what they consider

      • (a) the main point of the class and

      • (b) the main question they still have as they leave.

    • You can use some of these questions to begin the next lecture,

    • or students can be asked to bring them next time

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Close the Lecture

  • Exit Slip

    • Ways to invite student response after reading/learning.

    • Helps students to raise questions and synthesize content

    • This is an individual exercise.

  • Directions: Please respond to one or more of the statement below.

    • This week I learned…

    • I don’t understand…

    • A question I have is….

    • I wish…

    • The thing that surprised me most was…