Sunday, 18 September 2016

Chapter 9 Tips and Strategies for Building Community

Classes have started these last 2 weeks and I just happened to be starting the PIDP 3250 course and noticed Chapter 9 Tips and Strategies for Building Community (Barkley, 2010). What a great way to start off the first weeks by building a community in your class room.

What do you do to build community in your classroom?

Who here uses the first class to read the outline and introduce themselves as the instructor?

If you are not an instructor yet, who has been a student recently and one of the first things you do is go over the outline?

How was this experience? Did the instructor read the outline aloud? If you were the instructor how was the energy in the room?

I noticed in my first year that I read the outline and the class energy was low and to be honest it wasn't fun for me as an instructor either.

I was hoping this chapter would give me some great ideas and it did.

Here are a few of the ideas for creating community that I liked that you might want to try in the future.

To learn student's names quickly try using name tents, and playing the name game. What's the name game you say? "Students and teachers form a circle and introduce themselves and then recall and repeat names of those who have already introduced themselves." (Barkley, p.114) I usually get the students to say their name and their favorite movie/musician/hobby. I find this allows me to learn a little bit more about them and might show their personality. I usually ask before the game who likes a challenge and I place those individuals at the end so they have to repeat all the student names. It is actually quite funny and very engaging.

Has anyone used any other versions of name games? Please post.

As far as the outline goes,  I learned when taking PIDP 3230,  Evaluation of Learning,  Doug suggested to get the students to read the outline and identify what they feel is most important for success in the class. I did this for the first time this year and felt it went well. Students went into groups and after 15 minutes came back with their top 5 most important things. My observations were each group had different lists but usually with a few commonalities amongst them. Usually their lists opened up to more questions and overall classroom discussion which made the classroom more engaging than my previous year.  In Chapter 9 there is a syllabus review suggestion on page 119 and this is a modification of it.

What do you do in your first class to review the outline?

These are 2 of the strategies/tips I have used this term to help build community in my classroom. Hopefully this gives fellow instructors the push to explore and try different things the first week as we only get once chance to make an initial impression in the classroom.

Barkley, E.F., (2010). Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass.



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