Involving Students in Presentations

As a successful instructor you will be able to introduce activities, give instructions, assign students to small groups, and process activity results.

When you introduce an activity you should explain the objectives, and emphasize the benefits and potential outcomes of the learning activity.

Interaction among students contributes to a successful experience. Varying the composition of small groups for exercises and activities not only energizes students, but also creates more opportunity to exchange information and encounter different perspectives.

Techniques for Assigning Small Groups

  • Have students partner with someone they don’t know.
  • Count off by a specific number and have all the 1’s work together and so forth. This method works well for large groups. Count how many people are in the class and divide that number by the desired group size. For example if you have 25 people in the class you can and you want groups of 5 you can have the students count off 1 through 5. Then have each number work together.
  • Arbitrarily group students by proximity to one another.

Giving Instructions to Students

As you present and assign groups and activities you are going to need to give instructions as well. You do this by presenting the objectives of an activity and speaking clearly and slowly. Define important terms and concepts, if possible, provide examples, and periodically ask if there are any questions.

Circulate throughout the room as the students complete the activity encouraging discussion, answering questions. Keep an eye on the clock and stay within the allotted time for that activity. Give the students a warning when the time is almost up so they can complete the assignment.

Facilitating Discussion with Students

Informative discussions and exchange of information among instructors and students is another key to your success when it comes to presenting to students. Your role is to elicit comments from the students while maintaining the focus. Here are some tips for facilitating discussion while presenting.

  • Paraphrase what someone has said so the student will know you understand and it helps ensures the rest of the class hears the comment.
  • Compliment students on insightful and interesting comments.
  • Use open ended questions, avoid questions that generate a one word answer.
  • Mediate differences in opinions.
  • Summarize and record on chart paper or white board the major views of the group.

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