Want more satisfied students? Vary your teaching techniques.
Get creative with new teaching techniques. Liven up your classes, and it could enhance your repeat rates. Encourage your teachers to think outside the box, try something new and don’t worry about failing.
Try one thing new each time.
The top new ‘wow’ teaching technique for 2015: have your students write on the windows in your classroom.
From the latest Certificate in Teaching Adults class taught by LERN, participant Michelle Rickaby reports that one of her teachers has students write on the classroom windows. Here’s what she said,
“The teacher told me that he gives the students pens (they must be white board pens) and the students each pick a window. They work their formulas on the windows! At the end of the evening they clean them off. He told me the students love it. (for a math class for adults, but could be used for other topics as well).
“I talked to the teacher after the class and he told me another couple benefits to this method. The class has been in session for around 6 weeks (12 classes) and he observed that when he had students pairing up they were meeting for the first time. As they sit in class they don’t necessarily interact with each other so this gives them an opportunity to meet their classmates. Plus, he told me that when they sit on their own he observes that the cell phones are out and they might be texting or doing something else. When they are standing at the windows they are paying attention to the lessons and thinking about the lessons. They are not distracted by their phones.”
The Top 3 new teaching techniques for 2015 are:
1.Write on windows
2.Students find the mistakes
3.Include silly answers in quizzes
Here’s the Top 10 best new teaching techniques for 2015.
1. Students find the mistakes
Michele Rickaby has found this fun and useful exercise for her resume building course, but other teachers say the idea is so good it can be applied to many other kinds of courses as well.
“I have given a brief lesson on building a resume that was a lot of fun. I explained the key components of what should go into a good resume then shared one that I had made up. It was all wrong. I asked the students to tell me what was wrong. I had a crazy photo up in the corner. The email address was firstname.lastname@example.org (I’ve actually seen that used). Under references I put: Aunty Sue. I printed the resume on colored paper, etc. Once students started to identify what was wrong I would explain the reasons you don’t put your photo on a resume, use an unprofessional email address, make spelling errors, etc. It was a fun lesson and I think they realized the importance of their resume.
Another teacher added: I love the idea of having the students correct a document with some amusing (and I imagine obviously incorrect) content.
- Silly answer quizzes
The more frequent you give your students quizzes, the more they learn. And they like it, especially when trainer Karla Peiffer adds silly answers.
“I also make it a point to provide a quiz at the end of every training session to reinforce new information that is presented or to emphasize a criteria that is perhaps not being followed. I like to add in silly answers to the quiz (1 multiple choice answer that is obviously not correct) to make it a little more fun and not have them take the quiz so seriously. We go over the quiz together to reinforce the correct answers. This provides a summary of the key points of the training session as well.”
Frank Sattler has a little variation on the silly answer technique:
“Karla, your quiz sounds like something I would do. One answer that would just make the participants giggle. Sometimes I would put a joke or two between questions just to keep them motivated. As I would go over the quiz at the end of class many would comment about the jokes and how they wish they had that when they were in school.”
- Fix the sick slides
Sherryl Maglione has another variation on students finding errors, this one with some props.
“Grammar is necessary — we all know this and yet, with the advent of texting language, grammar may not be a critical part of people’s lives. We have all seen the ‘Let’s eat Grandpa’ and ‘Let’s eat, Grandpa’ poster. What I do to jazz up my grammar lessons is this: I went to the university bookstore and bought a white lab coat. On the lab coat, using fabric markers, I printed: Dr. Magz’ Writing Clinic. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a toy doctor’s kit and some small candies. Then I prepared incorrect grammar slides on PowerPoint and was the ‘doctor’ for the first few slides. Students each took a turn being the doctor and ‘treating’ the ‘sick grammar’ on the slides and when a student in the class knew the correct answer or fix to the grammar ‘symptom’, the student received a candy from Dr. Grammar. It is a very fun way to have students participate and I can remember one class especially because when the class was over, the students were saying, ‘Are you kidding me? I cannot believe that this class went so fast!’ That was awesome for them!”
- Select a travel partner
Wanda Jones has fun, and so do her students, with this one.
“One of the activities I like to do is have them to select a ‘travel’ partner. To do this activity, I give each of them a sheet of paper that has pictures 4 different modes of transportation on it, such as a boat, airplane, car, or bicycle. At the beginning of the session I give them time to go around the room to meet someone they do not know and to sign up a person for method of transportation. Once they have completed this task, they hold onto the sheet until time for discussions in which they get up and locate the person they identified for a specific mode of transportation. For example, I may ask them to locate their “boat” partner to discuss the topic we are addressing at the time. When we come back together as a group, they can share their ideas together with the whole group or individually. It is up to them how they share and what they share.”
- Pair-work: Take charge
Pamela Horowitz suggests:
I do like to have my students do pair-work. This enables them to help each other and take charge of their learning.
- Teacher for the day
Having your students help teach each other is one of the all-time best teaching techniques. Most recently, teacher Pamela Horowitz noted, “At times, I have had each student be ‘teacher for the day,’ but they are usually reluctant to do this, stating that they are not teachers. I politely disagree with them, and they give it a try.”
- Repeat tasks 3-4 times
Jeanise Demitri adds,
“I have the students do a task three or four times to get them use to the sequence. Having them repeat a task has always worked very well for the students. “
- Theme for the month
Chrystie Backus does this:
“I create a theme for the month, such as Holiday Recipes or Gardening, and then poll the class to see what types of things they would like more information about, any activities they would like to learn, or anything specific they would like to try. I then incorporate these ideas into the course material.”
- Funny socks
Chrystie Bockus reports, “I wear funny socks, especially when teaching. Great conversation starter.”
The online Certificate in Teaching Adults is offered in September-October and also February-March of each year. UGotClass Partners can make 50% of the income by promoting to trainers, teachers and others in your community. Or UGotClass Partners can enroll their staff (or teachers) at half the regular price and forego their share of the fee. Just go to www.UGotClass.net and check it out under Training and Education category of courses.