Advent Calendar Day 2: Get Students Talking First

In a series: ADEPT Teaching and Learning Advent Calendar 2016
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In Day 2 of ADEPT's Teaching and Learning Advent Calendar, Dr Joanne Paul explains how to get students talking.

This is the Day 2 post of ADEPT’s Teaching and Learning Advent Calendar, sent as an email on December 2nd 2016.

Image shows a seagull with its mouth open. The seagull is standing on a table with a set of salt and pepper pots on it and chairs around it. In the background is some grass and beyond that, the sea.

Get Students Talking First

Joanne Paul advises, “Get students talking before you do. In seminars this means I start with anĀ “attendance question” – a general opinion-based question on the readings that I ask every student as I do the attendance list.

This is a great way to ease students into the seminar topic and to get them thinking and talking without too much pressure on any one individual. It also means that right from the start all students have had the chance to participate. As a teacher, you also then have a sense of how the students have fared with that session’s content: are they answering confidently or do they seem confused about what they think, for example? Try it in your teaching, and let us know how it works out!

Dr Joanne Paul is a Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Sussex. Her latest book, Thomas More, is available now.

Image from Pixabay: a great site for copyright-free and attribution-free photos.