Presentation on theme: "All Hands on Deck: Maximizing Student Participation"— Presentation transcript:
1 All Hands on Deck: Maximizing Student Participation Beth Kramer, PhDRhetoric Dept., CGS
2 Challenges to Discussion Seminars Course model typically relies on student response to Professor—students may address the instructor without acknowledging classmates’ ideasOften a small number of students carry the weight of discussion (sometimes one student can dominate class time)Quiet students can fall into silent patterns in small classes, which are difficult to break
3 Collective Class/Assignment Model Goal: To get all students engaged and participating in classUse a Problem solving approach in addition to open discussionRequire input from all students—exercises offer opportunities to respond to others
4 Example #1—Style/Form Exercise Part I Students choose 1 portrait from a collectionStudents are asked to silently write about the visual architecture of the portraitStudents share their findings with the groupReveal that all portraits are self portraits (Rembrandt)—ask students what we can then say about artist’s style from collective responses
5 Rembrandt Self Portraits1 1. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en,
6 Show a work by the artist—what evidence do we see of his form/style (can break into groups) Rembrandt van Rijn – The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp(1632)11.
7 Example #1—Goals/Applications Students must listen to classmate’s ideas and build upon them to reach important claimsWriting/Literature Courses—follow up with multiple excerpts by the same writer. What evidence do we see of their style across works?Music/Film Courses: Follow up with multiple excerpts by the same artist/composer. What connects the works together? How does style differ from other artists?
8 Example #2: Metaphor/Tone Exercise Part I: Hand out song lyrics to students (choose song whose tempo is at odds with lyrics)Ask students what themes (abstract concepts) are represented in the song. Make a chart with these themesThen, students individually place tangible images/words from song in each column that relate to that themeStudents contribute one response publicly to class—Professor creates master chart and moderates
9 Sample Song: “Crooked Teeth” (2006)by Death Cab For Cutie It was one hundred degreesAs we sat beneath a willow treeWhose tears didn't careThey just hung in the airAnd refused to fall, to fallAnd I knew I'd made a horrible callAnd now the state line feltLike the Berlin wallAnd there was no doubtAbout which side I was on'Cause I built you a home in my heartWith rotten wood, it decayed from the start'Cause you can't find nothing at allIf there was nothing there all alongNo you can't find nothing at allI braved treacherous streetsAnd kids strung outOn homemade speedAnd we shared a bedIn which I could not sleep at all'Cause at night the sun in retreatMade the skyline lookLike crooked teethIn the mouth of a manWho was devouring, us both(Cont’d)You're so cute when you're slurring your speechBut they're closing the bar and they want us to leaveAnd you can't find nothing at allIf there was nothing there all alongNo you can't find nothing at allI'm a war of head versus heartAnd it's always this wayMy head is weak, my heart always speaksBefore I know what it will sayThere were churches, theme parks and mallsBut there was nothing there all along.
10 Example #2—Tone/Metaphor Exercise Break-ups/Lost RelationshipRegret/GuiltFailureIsolationBar closingHorrible callDecaycan’t sleep in same bedNight descendingHead vs. heartBuilt home from rotten woodNothing thereWhich side I was onTears hung in the airSun in retreatBerlin wall
11 Part IIAsk students what is the idea behind the song—how these images/words lead to conceptPlay the song—how does the tone conflict with the meaning or add to it?
12 Goals/ApplicationStudents learn how language/metaphor leads to conceptStudents see how tone affects meaningFollow up in writing/literature classes with writing where tone is at odds with meaningHave students experiment using metaphors and descriptive language in their own writing
13 Example #3—Assessment Exercise Mid-Semester/End of Semester Exercise Place 3 Major Goals on board in chart format (1)Structure/Organization, (2) Writing Style/Process (3) Reading/Interpretation/Idea GenerationAllow each student 5 minutes to fill out their chart—place 2 skills that have developed over the semester in each columnStudent then contributes one response publicly to class—Professor creates master chart and moderates
14 Example #3—Assessment Exercise Mid-Semester/End of Semester Exercise Structure/OrganizationWriting Style/ProcessReading/Interpretation/Idea GenerationParagraphsIntegrating and Using QuotesGet past obvious/surfaceTransitionsClarity of Language—Get Rid of Wordy SentencesInductive approach to reach ideasBeginning—set up conflictDraft ProcessDiff between summary/analysisEndings—so what reflectionClose reading techniques
15 Exercise #3—Goals/Applications Students benefit from hearing classmates responses; get a more well-rounded view of the course before evaluationsProfessor can remind students of course objectives and see if progress alignsCan modify exercise and do after first written feedback is returned--solidifies expectations without lecturing
16 Tips/Future Suggestions Reserve some time for open discussion within collective class; keep spontaneityDoes not have to take up whole class—giving students time to write/reflect/collectively respond to a question before opening up to discussion can give confidence to quieter students, and provide a foundation for later discussionQuestions?
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