Kym’s innovative approach to teaching her course includes having four groups composed of 7-9 students participate in four alternating class components, which are each 25 minutes in length. Students all join the beginning of the class and all come back together at the end of the class, after they have rotated through the four groups.
- Lecture Group 25 minutes
Kym presents condensed lectures that explain/discuss difficult concepts
- eLearn Group 25 minutes
Students access eLearn to watch videos, scan websites, conduct online searches or read material online and complete a low-stakes accompanying activity,
- Zoom Group 25 minutes
Students discuss ideas from readings/class, summarize material, collect additional resources, create research questions, or support one another with investigation or development of research/understanding
- Individual Group 25 minutes
Students work on larger class projects such as their final papers: search peer reviewed articles, provide summary of readings, or write draft of final project. Often with some sort of low-stakes deliverable for continued connection with students.
In Kym’s words:
“This approach, based on student feedback, is working well. Students are provided dedicated time to work on bigger projects, connect with new peers each class, see me in a smaller group setting for a lecture where they may feel more comfortable asking questions, and have constant access via eLearn to class material that grows each week because of their peers’ additions.
I will not lie, it is hard work. I end up giving the same lecture 4 times in a row, have to re-imagine previous class material as smaller bite size pieces, plus troubleshoot while students are on their own. However, the students, seem to be happy, which makes it all worthwhile and the work they completed for the class was thoughtful and met the level of rigor of previous terms”