12 Interactive Classroom Activities for College Students
Is education so mundane that you are always sitting amidst the four walls of a classroom and lending an ear to what all the instructor is talking?
No! Not at all! An air of excitement should flow into classrooms so as to make the learning for college students engaging. The stage has to be set for them to better interact with their lecturers and the topics that are being taught.
Most of the times, college instructors feel that they are the only ones doing all the talking in classrooms, without any response coming from students. This behavior of college students can demotivate lecturers, demanding the inclusion of certain creative and interactive teaching techniques.
Here are 12 interactive activities that can make learning captivating for college students.
- Pose Open-Ended Questions
Pose a close-ended “Yes/No” question and you are sure to either get a nod of the head or a monosyllable as a response. On the contrary, if you pose open-ended questions, you will prompt them to come out with their opinions, allowing both introverts and extroverts to participate in the discussion.
You can construct a question like: “What are the challenges you faced while completing this project/assignment?” This question will hit the students like a dart, facilitating them to give vent to their feelings and opinions about the assignment. This open-ended questioning session will push college students to express themselves better, making the class interesting and interactive.
- Unleash the Audio/Visual Capabilities of the Internet
Now is the age of technology influencing millennials to learn and assimilate information from online sources. Youtube can become your sought-after teaching tool, with plenty of videos that teach students about different topics alongside entertaining them. The younger generation will find these videos relevant to their age when compared to the printed text books that are a big bore to read.
You name the topic and you have a matching You Tube video that sheds light on your queries. Once a video is presented to the class, it is for you as an instructor to break the video into smaller parts. Each part is then allotted to a small group of college students to dissect and read closely. Once the entire video is examined in the above manner, it is time that your entire class comes up with the learnings as loud classroom announcements.
- The Power of “Close Reading”
As discussed above, a You Tube video which is broken down into small parts enables college students to examine the minutest details. By doing this, they are cultivating the “eye for detail” alongside engaging better with the subject and their mates.
This principle can be applied to textual information as well. If for instance you find a mighty equation that needs to be solved, you can apply this “close reading” (break reading) strategy by breaking it down into simpler and smaller parts.
That is when synergy sets in, making the huge equation to be understood only when it is broken into smaller parts. College students, through break reading will be able to better understand the entire concept when it is fragmented into manageable sections. They can eventually become an expert of that section, with a broadened knowledge of every minute aspect concerning it.
- The Freedom To Criticize
You will be challenging the intellect of college students if you allow them the freedom to spot your mistakes. Take for example a piece of software code that yields a wrong result. When you as an instructor present this code to your class, your students will be prompted to identify the error in the code and also come up with the right answer.
Your class will begin to discuss the code in detail, identify the bug, debug it and ultimately show up the correct answer. It is this practice of identifying and correcting errors that will encourage college students to hone their competitiveness so that they end up with the right answer for every problem.
- Digital Activities
Instructors can bring along digital learning tools like smartphones, laptops and tablets into classrooms so as to make their lectures interactive and interesting.
Top Hat is an interface of higher education apps that are specially meant to improve classroom responses.
Posing multiple-choice questions, this platform helps college students to hone their learning about various subjects, in addition to improving their attention span.
- Collate the Opinions of Your Students
All in an attempt to make learning fun and engaging for college students, you as an instructor will do them a great deal of good provided you collate all their opinions. It will not be an overstatement to say that the power of student-centered reviews is enormous. Once you give your students the ultimate freedom to express their views about what is being taught, they will be encouraged to interact with their mates.
Such an activity will fuel the growth of interaction in classrooms, permitting you to identify the pain points of your students. With this assessment in hand, you will be armed to make necessary changes to the course material while delivering interactive classroom sessions.
- The Simulated Press Conference
A yet another exciting classroom activity that enhances interactivity in colleges is the use of the simulated press conference. Instructors should group up college students into small teams.
Each team is then instructed to come up with questions about the topic that will be discussed.
Now it is for the students to pose questions to their instructor as part of an imaginary press conference. Students then get the responses to all their queries from the instructor.
- Prompt Students to Pick the Befitting Option
You can also enhance the attentiveness of your students when you present your class with a scenario or a question.
Supporting the question with a couple of responses, you should ask your students to present the best response.
This activity will be helpful in recapitulating the important information that should be memorized by students so as to answer examination questions.
- A Method to Madness
Jumbling up a series of instances or steps so as to come up with the right answer is another interesting classroom activity that engages students.
Instructors can mix up incidents or information asking students to come up with the right order.
Sequencing the events according to their rightful order excites students to remember the correct chronology along with bringing in an excitement to complete the task successfully.
- The Just-A-Minute Paper Presentation
A JAM (Just-A-Minute) paper presentation works wonders in helping instructors gauge the attention span of students alongside highlighting the comprehension skills of the class in general.
For this, you need to instruct your class to write a couple of main topics that were taught in the class, in one minute.
Once the time is up, you may ask your students to present their JAM papers to the class. This way, every student learns various key points of the lecture from the JAM papers discussed by his/her mates.
- Pictorial Takeaways
A picture is worth a thousand words. In line with this maxim, you can encourage college students to come up with visual learning aids like graphs, maps, diagrams or flow charts.
At times, pictures about various topics become catalysts for students to concentrate better as part of their last minute preparation for their semester exams.
And when a question about the topic is asked in class, a prompt response from students can be anticipated.
- Pick The Matching Statement
Instructors can stretch their imagination and come up with a catchy statement for which a supporting fact is sought from the entire class.
College students will then have to locate this statement from the course material and attach data that will substantiate the statement.
This fact-finding activity will lead to classroom interactions, helping them better absorb the course material.
It is all about making learning interesting so that students can simplify the way they learn new things. While Efforts should be directed towards channelizing the attention of students so as to register better academic grades. It is also about encouraging college students to partake in all the learnings that are conducted in classrooms so that they feel pepped up to step into their college. Investing your time to blend in teaching with some of the above mentioned activities will pave the way for a better participation from students.