Interactive TechniquesThese techniques have multiple benefits: the instructor can easily and quicklyassess if students have really mastered the material (and plan to dedicate moretime to it, if necessary), and the process of measuring student understanding inmany cases is also practice for the material—often students do not actually learnthe material until asked to make use of it in assessments such as these. Finally,the very nature of these assessments drives interactivity and brings severalbenefits. Students are revived from their passivity of merely listening to a lectureand instead become attentive and engaged, two prerequisites for effectivelearning. These techniques are often perceived as “fun”, yet they are frequentlymore effective than lectures at enabling student learning.Not all techniques listed here will have universal appeal, with factors such as yourteaching style and personality influencing which choices may be right for you.Instructor Action: Lecture1. Prompt – Show students an image with no explanation, and ask them toidentify/explain it, and justify their answers. Or ask students to write about it using termsfrom lecture, or to name the processes and concepts shown. Also works well as groupactivity. Do not give the “answer” until they have explored all options first.Why Do You Think That? – Follow up all student responses (not just the incorrectones) with a challenge to explain their thinking, which trains students over time to thinkin discipline-appropriate ways.Think Break – Ask a rhetorical question, and then allow 20 seconds for students tothink about the problem before you go on to explain. This technique encourages studentsto take part in the problem-solving process even when discussion isn't feasible. Havingstudents write something down (while you write an answer also) helps assure that theywill in fact work on the problem.Updating Notes – Take a break for 2-3 minutes to allow students to compare their classnotes so far with other students, fill in gaps, and develop joint questions.Cliffhanger Lecturing – Rather than making each topic fit neatly within one day’sclass period, intentionally structure topics to end three-fourths of the way through thetime, leaving one quarter of the time to start the next module/topic. This generates anautomatic bridge between sessions and better meets learning science principles of thespacing effect and interleaving topics.Choral Response – Ask a one-word answer to the class at large; volume of answer willsuggest degree of comprehension. Very useful to “drill” new vocabulary words intostudents.Word Cloud Guessing - Before you introduce a new concept to students, show them aword cloud on that topic, using an online generator (Wordle, Taxedo, or Tagul) to paste aparagraph or longer of related text, and challenge students to guess what the topic was.Instructor Storytelling – Instructor illustrates a concept, idea, or principle with a reallife application, model, or case-study.Grab a Volunteer – After a minute paper (or better: think pair share) pick one studentto stand up, cross the room, and read any other student's answer.Socratic Questioning – The instructor replaces lecture by peppering students withquestions, always asking the next question in a way that guides the conversation toward a1 Kevin Yee Last updated 8/3 Creative Commons BY-NC-SA – OK to use and remix if non-commercial, must credit me and use same CC license.(No need to email for permission as long as this footer is included in your copy).

.28.learning outcome (or major Driving Question) that was desired from the beginning.Variation: A group of students writes a series of questions as homework and leads theexercise in class.Reverse Socratic Questioning – The instructor requires students to ask him/herquestions, and the instructor answers in such a way as to goad another questionimmediately but also drive the next student question in a certain direction.Pass the Pointer – Place a complex, intricate, or detailed image on the screen and askfor volunteers to temporarily borrow the laser pointer to identify key features or askquestions about items they don’t understand.Turn My Back – Face away from the class, ask for a show of hands for how many peopledid the reading. After they put hands down, turn around again and ask to hear a report ofthe percentage. This provides an indication of student preparation for today’s material.Empty Outlines – Distribute a partially completed outline of today’s lecture and askstudents to fill it in. Useful at start or at end of class.Classroom Opinion Polls – Informal hand-raising suffices to test the waters before acontroversial subject.Discussion Row – Students take turns sitting in a front row that can earn extra creditas individuals when they volunteer to answer questions posed in class; this provides agroup that will ALWAYS be prepared and interact with teacher questions.Total Physical Response (TPR) – Students either stand or sit to indicate their binaryanswers, such as True/False, to the instructor’s questions.Student Polling – Select some students to travel the room, polling the others on a topicrelevant to the course, then report back the results for everyone.Self-Assessment of Ways of Learning – Prepare a questionnaire for students thatprobes what kind of learning style they use, so the course can match visual/aural/tactilelearning styles.Quote Minus One – Provide a quote relevant to your topic but leave out a crucial wordand ask students to guess what it might be: “I cannot forecast to you the action of; it is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” This engages themquickly in a topic and makes them feel invested.Everyday Ethical Dilemmas – Present an abbreviated case study with an ethicaldilemma related to the discipline being studied.Polar Opposites – Ask the class to examine two written-out versions of a theory (orcorollary, law of nature, etc.), where one is incorrect, such as the opposite or a negation ofthe other. In deciding which is correct, students will have to examine the problem from allangles.Pop Culture – Infuse your lectures, case studies, sample word problems for use duringclass with current events from the pop culture world. Rather than citing statistics forhousing construction, for instance, illustrate the same statistical concept you are teachingby inventing statistics about something students gossip about, like how often a certainpop star appears in public without make-up.Make Them Guess – Introduce a new subject by asking an intriguing question,something that few will know the answer to (but should interest all of them). Accept blindguessing for a while before giving the answer to build curiosity.Make It Personal – Design class activities (or even essays) to address the real lives ofthe individual students. Instead of asking for reflections on Down’s Syndrome, ask forpersonal stories of neurological problems by a family member or anyone they have evermet.Read Aloud – Choose a small text (500 words or less) to read aloud, and ask students topay particular attention during this phase of lecture. A small text read orally in a largerlecture can focus attention.Punctuated Lectures – Ask student to perform five steps: listen, stop, reflect, write,give feedback. Students become self-monitoring listeners.Word of the Day – Select an important term and highlight it throughout the classsession, working it into as many concepts as possible. Challenge students to do the samein their interactive activities.2 Kevin Yee Last updated 8/3 Creative Commons BY-NC-SA – OK to use and remix if non-commercial, must credit me and use same CC license.(No need to email for permission as long as this footer is included in your copy)., Summarize, Question, Connect, and Comment – This method of startingeach session (or each week) has five steps to reinforce the previous session’s material:recall it, summarize it, phrase a remaining question, connect it to the class as a whole,and comment on that class session.Background Knowledge Probe – Use questionnaire (multi-choice or short answer)when introducing a new topic.Goal Ranking and Matching – Students rank their goals for the class, then instructorcombines those with her own list.Interest/Knowledge/Skills Checklist – Assesses interest and preparation for thecourse, and can help adjust teaching agenda.Documented Problem Solutions – Keep track of the steps needed to solve specifictypes of problems. Model a list for students first and then ask them to perform similarsteps.Provocative Picture – Begin the lecture with a picture meant to provoke discussion oremotion (another option: a cartoon).Instructor Action: Lecture (Small Class Size) the Chalk – Provide chalk or a soft toy; whoever has it must answer your nextquestion, and they pass it on to the student of their choice.Whiteboard Capture – Using a smartphone, take photographs of the whiteboard at theend of the day and post them to Canvas (labeled by date) for easy student reference.Pass the Dart – Like Pass the Chalk, use a real (but safe?) dartboard to decide whichstudent must answer the next question (student names are arranged on the dartboardalready).Beach Ball Bingo – Write questions or prompts onto all surfaces of a beach ball (ortape them on). When the next student catches the ball, he/she answers one of thequestions where fingers are touching the ball.Bingo Balls of Doom – Every student is assigned a number; when the faculty memberpulls that number from the bingo cage, that student has to answer the next question.Town Hall Meeting – Abdicate the front of the room for a student willing to speak outon a controversial subject, and when she is done with her comment, she selects the nextspeaker from the hands raised.The Half Class Lecture – Divide the class in half and provide reading material to onehalf. Lecture on that same material to the other half of the class. Then, switch the groupsand repeat, ending with a recap by pairing up members of opposite groups.Tournament – Divide the class into at least two groups and announce a competition formost points on a practice test. Let them study a topic together and then give that quiz,tallying points. After each round, let them study the next topic before quizzing again. Thepoints should be carried over from round to round. The student impulse for competitionwill focus their engagement onto the material itself.Three Part Interview – Pose the following question to the entire class: “What do youthink are the three biggest issues related to .” Choose the student with the birthdayclosest to today’s date and have them stand and share their 3 responses to the questionfor one minute. Move clockwise around the room until all have shared.Student Action: Individual (many of these can be used as partnerwork or groupwork instead;or may escalate to that after some individual effort)44.Mind Dump – Students write for five minutes on last night's reading, and this papergets collected. The entire chapter's worth of mind dumps are returned as a surprise tohelp students study for the test.3 Kevin Yee Last updated 8/3 Creative Commons BY-NC-SA – OK to use and remix if non-commercial, must credit me and use same CC license.(No need to email for permission as long as this footer is included in your copy).

.One-Minute Papers – Students write for one minute on a specific question (whichmight be generalized to “what was the most important thing you learned today”). Bestused at the end of the class session.Backchannel Discussion – While the instructor presents, students use digital devicesto engage in a chatroom-style conversation projected alongside the instructor. Studentsask questions, make comments, and share relevant resources. The instructor periodicallyties the conversation into their presentation.Muddiest Point – Like the Minute Paper, but asks for the “most confusing” pointinstead. Best used at the end of the class session.Misconception Check – Discover class’s preconceptions. Useful for starting newchapters.Drawing for Understanding – Students illustrate an abstract concept or idea.Comparing drawings around the room can clear up misconceptions.Dumbledore or Gandalf? – Students come to the board to write their names underthe category they prefer (it can be a silly question, like “whose beard is better?”, or it canbe a binary voting choice of more serious social topics). Provides a chance to stretch andincrease blood-flow, and doubles as a way to capture attendance in small classes.Variation: can be done as students arrive in the room to save time.Snowballs – Ball up several blank pieces of paper and throw them around the room.Each time a “snowball” lands on a desk, the recipient must write three takeaways fromtoday’s (or yesterday’s) class, taking care not to duplicate other ideas already on thispaper, and then throw it onward. After nine ideas are on each page, pause for students todebrief the pages in groups.Focused Listing – Students list several ideas related to the main focus point (example:list all the possible causes of the Civil War). Helpful for starting new topics, such as abrainstorm.Focused Listing by Letter – Same as “focused listing” but students are restricted tostart each term in their list with just one letter announced by the teacher (ie, “all answersmust start with an S”).Gallery Walk – Stations or displays are spread across the room, and students go aroundto each station individually or in groups, completing a task or responding to a prompt ateach station.Activity Gallery Walk – Stations around the room have activities, rather thanmaterials to read/debrief/discuss, each of which take a significant amount of time towork through. Students