Often the key to capturing students’ attention and keeping them excited about class is accomplished in a variety of ways. Below is a list of ideas for engaging students and presenting content in new ways.
- Use variety in methods of presentation every class meeting.
- Stage a figurative “coffee break” about twenty minutes into the hour; tell an anecdote; invite students to put down pens and pencils; refer to a current event; shift media.
- Incorporate community resources: plays, concerts, the State Fair, government agencies, businesses, the outdoors.
- Show a film in a novel way: stop it for discussion, show a few frames only, anticipate ending, hand out a viewing or critique sheet, play and replay parts.
- Share your philosophy of teaching with your students.
- Form a student panel to present alternative views of the same concept.
- Stage a change-your-mind debate with students moving to different parts of the classroom to signal change in opinion during the discussion.
- Tell about your current research interests and how you got there from your own beginnings in the discipline.
- Conduct idea-generating or brainstorming sessions to expand horizons.
- Give students two passages of material containing alternative views to compare and contrast.
- Take students with you to hear guest speakers or special programs on campus.