Lectures and Lecturing

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Voting

red tomatoAs students are coming in, give out a double-sided sheet with a different image on each side. For instance, with apologies to the BBC and Ready Steady Cook, you could use a red tomato and a green pepper. Being more creative, you might choose two things which represent opposites (or pairs) in your subject area - easy enough for Politics tutors, but others may have to be more creative. Acids and bases for chemists, mass and energy for physicists, capitalists and communists for economists...? Of course you can use the words 'Yes' and 'No' but why not take the opportunity to be a bit more interesting about your subject?green pepper

The different sheets must be easily visible from far away, so using contrasting colours is a good idea. If they are in plastic wallets they are less likely to be damaged. Of course, there is a planning and resource overhead here - make sure you collect the sheets in again afterwards! At various points in the lecture, ask a question which can be answered with yes or no, and request votes. It may be a bit of a gimmick, and not something you want to use every time, but it will help the audience to think about a topic, and remember it. You don't need much time for this, a minute should be plenty of time for you to ask a question, get a vote, comment and then move on.

You can also use an electronic or online system for voting. In this Good Practice Exchange video, Orlagh McCabe talks about the various ways she uses the Socrative student response system in her lectures.

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