3 Ways to Engage Students in Large Classes

Oct 3

3 Ways to Engage Students in Large Classes

1. Start class with a multiple choice question

Whether your question be philosophical, theoretical or mathematical, ask your students a probing question at the beginning of class. In lecture-based classes, students tend to zone out–writing down information without processing it. Stop this behavior in its tracks by pointing out opportunities to learn if they not only pay attention, but also use their critical thinking skills.

Why do this with nClass?

  • You can make sure every student has answered the question without walking around the room to collect their answers

  • You and your students will have instant access to class statistics, giving you the ability to explain commonly-made mistakes

  • You’ll have a record of a class’ “before lecture” answers, so you’ll be able to better measure progress

2. Check up on your students’ comprehension

Is your class mostly blank stares or nods? If you can’t tell, maybe it’s time to ask. Sure, you can ask your students the traditional way, but now students can automatically tell you whether they understand or not without interrupting the flow of class.

Why do this with nClass?

  • Unlike other academic clickers, nClass is can do exactly that: students can use their mobile phones to alert you when they get confused

  • Because students can report confusion quietly, you’re more likely to get feedback from introverted students than by simply asking students for verbal feedback or waiting for questions

  • Students can even report confusion anonymously, giving a voice to students who might be embarrassed that they don’t understand

3. Conduct an exit poll

Why wait until the end of the semester for feedback when you can ask students how you are doing after each class? Consider allowing students to take a short poll right before the end of class–maybe have them report one important lesson they learned at the day’s lecture or maybe just ask them to rate elements of the lesson–you’ll see where you can improve, and ultimately, end up with better reviews.

Why do this with nClass?

  • Your students can submit feedback anonymously

  • You can compare exit poll results with anonymous in-class comments and comprehension reports

Featured image: Classroom, image © velkr0 (CC BY 2.0)

How do you connect with your students? Let us know in the comments.

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