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Question 9

​In this course, I was encouraged to:​​​


 Interact with other students in a respectful way.


 Set ground rules for maintaining productive discourse.

  • On the first day of class tell students that you would like classroom discussions to be informed, respectful, thoughtful and engaged. Then ask them to brainstorm ground rules that everyone should follow to make this happen. 
  • Find more on ground rules and  more examples here.

 Encourage students to get to know one another.

  • Use icebreakers several times in the first month of class so that students get to know a variety of classmates.
  • Ask students to use free, easy appls like FlipGrid (integrates with Canvas) to introduce themselves, respond to class prompts, and respond to one another.
  • Purposefuly make groups more heterogeneous by asking students to work with others who a) share their birthday month, b) are wearing the same color shirt, c) get to campus by the same mode of transportation etc.

 Build cooperative group work into your classes.


 Explicity teach teamwork skills and provide opportunities to practice.

  • Use the AAC&U rubric on teamwork to identify the key skills involved teamwork.
  • Learn more about ways to teach, assess teamwork, and deepen processes in the college classroom.
  • At the beginning of group or team projects, create time and a process for students to discuss their respective strengths, personal learning goals, anticipated contributions etc.
  • Give students regular opportunities to reflect upon ways their learning has been enhanced by interaction with classmates.

 Encourage the participation of all students.

  • Give students time to gather their thoughts in writing before discussing with the whole group.
  • Use strategies for including a range of voices in class e.g. asking to hear from those who have not spoken, wait until several hands are raised to call on anyone, wait at least 5 seconds before calling on anyone, or use small group conversations to seed larger group discussions.
  • Wait time is indeed an under-utilized resource. Select a strategy or two to help you​ manage what might feel like awkward silence.


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