8- DO Something!

12 Aug

Figuring out how to motivate students to come to class prepared is the first half of a successful flip.  Figuring out how to keep them motivated by providing meaningful activities during class time is the second half of the challenge.

Image of weightlifters and coaches from http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:The_British_coach_giving_a_few_weight_lifting_hints.jpg

Doing something during class besides lecture takes practice. But the more we practice, the better we get! (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of asynchronous content delivery is the fact that students cannot interact with me as I explain things.  This is tough for some students.  In an attempt to address this, I usually start every day by asking students to write their questions on the board as they file into class.  I then survey their questions, organize them into groups (though wouldn’t it be cool if THEY did that task!?), and make a quick plan to ensure we spend some time on each question. I am going to explore the use of an online discussion board this semester to try and facilitate greater participation in this activity, because it was usually the same people who were always brave enough to write their questions on the board.

I found that attending my first HAPS annual conference in Las Vegas in May provided a hearty dose of inspiration toward improving my performance with the in class activities.  Here is a list of some of the things I’m looking forward to DOING during class time in the fall.

  1. Case studies
    I attended three different workshops on the use of case studies while in Las Vegas in May. Cherie McKeever from Great Falls College in Montana made the creation of case studies look a lot easier (and more fun!) than I’d thought it would be.
  2. POGIL
    I am eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the set of POGIL activities for A&P, as these inquiry-based activities will be an amazing way to spend “lecture” time.
  3. Practice quiz questions
    I will be using clickers for the first time this semester and am excited for the game-like (and publicly anonymous) atmosphere they will facilitate.
  4. Performances!
    While this was one of my favorite things to do with the class time (“BE a muscle contraction!”), it wasn’t the most popular thing.  Of course, some of my students loved getting active and creative. Others dreaded the activities, and made sure I knew it.

On most days, I did not have a clear idea of what I was going to do with the lecture hour.  I don’t think this is ideal.  However, I became rather adept at coming up with questions and challenges and tasks on the fly.  I tried to create a variety of experiences so students wouldn’t get bored, though I often worried that they might decide I was wasting their time and stop attending class all together.  In the next post, I will talk about how the flip affected lecture attendance.

2 Responses to “8- DO Something!”

  1. Anet Stuurop-Wiffen-Tallon August 23, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I think the key to making A and P interesting is to relate what is taught to the real world…many people learn by association. Case studies are good but they tend to focus on disease, knowing what is normal presents a baseline and makes the abnormal A and P in the case studies stand out more.

    • Wendy Riggs August 23, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      So true! I feel like a scavenger, hunting around for ANY interesting application to incorporate into the activities we do in class. One of my colleagues (an anatomist) just posted an article on Facebook about the best position for a bowel movement, complete with a detailed anatomical justification! I immediately started dreaming about a fantastic class activity related to something we ALL have intimate experience with! 😉

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