Friday, January 6, 2012

Student Engagement: Proposal for Center for Teaching and Learning Symposium

One Teacher, Many Discussions: Fostering Independent Engagement Among Students Inside and Outside the Classroom

In this presentation, we'll talk about how to foster more discussion between students both inside and outside the classroom as a way to enhance classroom cohesion and further students's intellectual engagement.
CTLT Panel Description - Presentation-->

Fostering and Assessing Student Engagement
Format:Fell B
Thriving in a Climate of Assessment
Individual Presentation

Session Time:
2:00-2:50 pm

While teaching Introduction to Fiction and Poetry at Johns Hopkins and English 101 here at Illinois State University, I have used a combination of small groups, online forums, and writing workshops to foster environments where multiple conversations occur simultaneously. By having students post written work the day before class and then requiring typed feedback from their peers, I’ve found that students arrive at class better prepared both in terms of the content and the modes of discussion. This leads them to be more independent in their small groups, allowing more time for personalized instructional attention with each student. By working with smaller groups of students, I am better able to illustrate productive habits of critical thinking and constructive criticism while providing them the opportunity to continue these habits without supervision. In this session, we’ll use Moodle to demonstrate how to initiate effective online forums, and then move into the dynamics of enabling small group discussions without sacrificing the instructor’s role in modeling the modes of academic discourse.

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