53 Interesting ideas for your
teaching
Graham Gibbs and Trevor Habeshaw
OVERVIEW
Condense the whole course into one lecture to
give as a broad an overview as possible as a way
of helping student...
Team Teaching
Lecture with a colleague: not just 30 minutes
each, but taking several turns each, preferably
responding to ...
Student Teachers
Teams of three students prepare and deliver the
lecture you would have given. Give them help in
the form ...
Memory
Students take no notes at all, but listen carefully
instead. When technical details are important,
require no note ...
Listening
Students shut their eyes and just listen for 10
minute periods.
This leads to either greater reflectiveness or
s...
Lecture Swop
Swop your lecture with that of a colleague in a
different subject area and both of you then
lecture on an unf...
Orientation
Use music, slides, posters or a video-clip to
create an atmosphere appropriate for the
lecture or to portray w...
Incomplete handouts
Use handouts with gaps in them for students to
write in during the class: labels of diagrams and
axes ...
Finish with quiz or test
Check what the students have learned by giving
them a short quiz or test at the end to be
“marked...
Last week, Next week
Start by rviewing what was covered last time:
not just the topic, but a two minute summary.
Display a...
Mini-Lectures
Never lecture for more than 15 minutes at a
time. Remember that students’ attention drops
to a dismal low af...
Breaks
Give frequent brief breaks: 30 seconds silence to
catch up with notes, one minute to stand up and
stretch your legs...
Buzz Groups
After 15 minutes set students a problem or
discussion question to tackle in pairs. Expecting
one or two pairs ...
Pyramid
Before working in pairs in buzz groups, students
should work alone for a minute or so. After
working in pairs they...
Quiet time
Allow periods of up to 5 minutes for quiet
reflection to develop notes, prepare questions,
review earlier secti...
The three most important things…
5 minutes before you finish, ask students to
write down the three most important things
f...
Are there any questions?
None of us have much success with this question. By
the time students have formulated a question,...
Ban
Ban all use of powerpoint or a whiteboard for
while.
Try something else for a change.
Clothes
Wear something different and behave differently as
a result (I used to lecture with a gown on graduation day!). Cu...
Flipchart
Try using flipchart or butchers paper instead of a
whiteboard or powerpoint and display each
completed sheet on ...
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53 interesting ideas for your teaching

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Ideas to stimulate more engaging and interesting 'lectures'
Adapted from Graham Gibbs and Trevor Habeshaw

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53 interesting ideas for your teaching

  1. 1. 53 Interesting ideas for your teaching Graham Gibbs and Trevor Habeshaw
  2. 2. OVERVIEW Condense the whole course into one lecture to give as a broad an overview as possible as a way of helping students to integrate their knowledge. Record the lecture and use extracts as “triggers” in tutorials or other lectures
  3. 3. Team Teaching Lecture with a colleague: not just 30 minutes each, but taking several turns each, preferably responding to and moving on from each other. Students appreciate disagreements and different perspectives, so you don’t have to plan for perfect coordination. Combine classes from two courses to avoid extra work.
  4. 4. Student Teachers Teams of three students prepare and deliver the lecture you would have given. Give them help in the form of your old notes or slides. Have a “dress rehearsal” to check they can cope OK. During their presentation either stay away or keep a low profile or you may put the students off.
  5. 5. Memory Students take no notes at all, but listen carefully instead. When technical details are important, require no note taking for 10 minute sections, each followed by a time to take notes from memory. Improves student attention, speeds your lecturing, improves students’ memory of the lecture.
  6. 6. Listening Students shut their eyes and just listen for 10 minute periods. This leads to either greater reflectiveness or sleep depending on your talent!
  7. 7. Lecture Swop Swop your lecture with that of a colleague in a different subject area and both of you then lecture on an unfamiliar topic. This can lead to useful simplifications and avoid overwhelming detail. It can be most helpful to students when you share your problems coping with an unfamiliar topic and to see how experienced learners tackle new problems.
  8. 8. Orientation Use music, slides, posters or a video-clip to create an atmosphere appropriate for the lecture or to portray without words will be about at the start. Give students time to reflect back over the course so far and clear their minds of their previous class.
  9. 9. Incomplete handouts Use handouts with gaps in them for students to write in during the class: labels of diagrams and axes of graphs, formulae, open ended sections etc Give students time to fill in these sections from your talk or slides. This keeps students active and allows them to personalise their handouts whilst making less demands than having to write their own notes.
  10. 10. Finish with quiz or test Check what the students have learned by giving them a short quiz or test at the end to be “marked” by the students themselves or their neighbours. Warning students that a test will be given will improve their attention, even if the test doesn’t count for anything.
  11. 11. Last week, Next week Start by rviewing what was covered last time: not just the topic, but a two minute summary. Display a summary slide whilst students are settling down. Finish by outlining what will come next: again not too briefly. Display one slide which summarises the content of your next lecture before they start to pack up.
  12. 12. Mini-Lectures Never lecture for more than 15 minutes at a time. Remember that students’ attention drops to a dismal low after about 20 minutes. Use the rest of the time for tasks: problems, note taking in silence, reading, discussion in pairs, or for knocking off for a coffee.
  13. 13. Breaks Give frequent brief breaks: 30 seconds silence to catch up with notes, one minute to stand up and stretch your legs, two minutes to confer with neighbours and so on. The longer you lecture without interruption, the longer the break needs to be: one minute after 10, two after 20, ten after 60.
  14. 14. Buzz Groups After 15 minutes set students a problem or discussion question to tackle in pairs. Expecting one or two pairs to report what they have included ensures that they take the task seriously. 3 minutes of lively buzz sets students up to be able to listen to more lecturing as well as giving them an opportunity to apply what you have already covered.
  15. 15. Pyramid Before working in pairs in buzz groups, students should work alone for a minute or so. After working in pairs they draw conclusions in fours. You can then pool conclusions from the fours onto a whiteboard or slide for all to see what the other groups have been up to. In this way it is possible to handle large group discussions even in a large lecture theatre.
  16. 16. Quiet time Allow periods of up to 5 minutes for quiet reflection to develop notes, prepare questions, review earlier sections of the course. The only rule is that no-one speaks for any reason whatsoever.
  17. 17. The three most important things… 5 minutes before you finish, ask students to write down the three most important things from the lecture: either from memory or allowing them to look through their notes. Write down your own three on a slide, then show it to the class. See how many students got all three, two, one or none. This gives students good feedback.
  18. 18. Are there any questions? None of us have much success with this question. By the time students have formulated a question, you have moved on, or they are hesitant to display their ignorance. Give them a minute on their own to write down the questions that they would really like an answer to. Then ask them to address this question to their neighbour to try to get an answer. Then field outstanding questions not answered!
  19. 19. Ban Ban all use of powerpoint or a whiteboard for while. Try something else for a change.
  20. 20. Clothes Wear something different and behave differently as a result (I used to lecture with a gown on graduation day!). Cut across the conventions which normally operate in your lectures. If you usually wear smart suits and speak from the lecturn, come in jeans and sit on the corner of the front bench. If you normally wear sloppy clothes and slouch around chatting, come in a suit and give a snappy lecture with smart slides and handouts. SHOCK THE STUDENTS OCCASIONALLY!
  21. 21. Flipchart Try using flipchart or butchers paper instead of a whiteboard or powerpoint and display each completed sheet on the wall so that all of your writing is visible at once.

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