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All Hands on Deck: Maximizing Student Participation Beth Kramer, PhD Rhetoric Dept., CGS.

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Presentation on theme: "All Hands on Deck: Maximizing Student Participation Beth Kramer, PhD Rhetoric Dept., CGS."— Presentation transcript:

1 All Hands on Deck: Maximizing Student Participation Beth Kramer, PhD Rhetoric Dept., CGS

2 Challenges to Discussion Seminars Course model typically relies on student response to Professor—students may address the instructor without acknowledging classmates’ ideas Often 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 class Use a Problem solving approach in addition to open discussion Require 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 collection Students are asked to silently write about the visual architecture of the portrait Students share their findings with the group Reveal that all portraits are self portraits (Rembrandt)—ask students what we can then say about artist’s style from collective responses

5 Rembrandt Self Portraits 1 1. https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en,

6 1. Ov=%25%25 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) 1

7 Example #1—Goals/Applications Students must listen to classmate’s ideas and build upon them to reach important claims Writing/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 themes Then, students individually place tangible images/words from song in each column that relate to that theme Students contribute one response publicly to class—Professor creates master chart and moderates

9 Sample Song: “Crooked Teeth” (2006) by Death Cab For Cutie (Cont’d) You're so cute when you're slurring your speech But they're closing the bar and they want us to leave And you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along No you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along I'm a war of head versus heart And it's always this way My head is weak, my heart always speaks Before I know what it will say And you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along No you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along And you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along There were churches, theme parks and malls But there was nothing there all along. It was one hundred degrees As we sat beneath a willow tree Whose tears didn't care They just hung in the air And refused to fall, to fall And I knew I'd made a horrible call And now the state line felt Like the Berlin wall And there was no doubt About which side I was on 'Cause I built you a home in my heart With rotten wood, it decayed from the start 'Cause you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along No you can't find nothing at all If there was nothing there all along I braved treacherous streets And kids strung out On homemade speed And we shared a bed In which I could not sleep at all 'Cause at night the sun in retreat Made the skyline look Like crooked teeth In the mouth of a man Who was devouring, us both

10 Example #2—Tone/Metaphor Exercise Break-ups/Lost Relationship Regret/GuiltFailureIsolation Bar closingHorrible callDecaycan’t sleep in same bed Night descending Head vs. heartBuilt home from rotten wood Nothing there Which side I was on Tears hung in the air Sun in retreatBerlin wall

11 Part II Ask students what is the idea behind the song—how these images/words lead to concept Play the song—how does the tone conflict with the meaning or add to it?

12 Goals/Application Students learn how language/metaphor leads to concept Students see how tone affects meaning Follow up in writing/literature classes with writing where tone is at odds with meaning Have 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 Generation Allow each student 5 minutes to fill out their chart—place 2 skills that have developed over the semester in each column Student 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 Generation ParagraphsIntegrating and Using Quotes Get past obvious/surface TransitionsClarity of Language—Get Rid of Wordy Sentences Inductive approach to reach ideas Beginning—set up conflictDraft ProcessDiff between summary/analysis Endings—so what reflection Close reading techniques

15 Exercise #3—Goals/Applications Students benefit from hearing classmates responses; get a more well-rounded view of the course before evaluations Professor can remind students of course objectives and see if progress aligns Can 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 spontaneity Does 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 discussion Questions?


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