Looking for creative teaching activities? Encourage students to work collaboratively and motivate each others learning, to clarify their understanding of course content and reflect on different peer perspectives. Take a look at the group work suggestions in our series of blog posts. We recommend booking City’s new Learning Spaces to run these activities.
Why? This method is useful for gauging students’ opinions and represent their views on an issue. This method encourages students to indicate their views and attitudes. You can use it at the beginning of a session and then again at the end to see if opinions have changed following discussion. It is also a useful method to create subgroups for the next teaching activity. Decide on how many groups you want and then count along the row up to that number and continue until all students have been assigned a group number. This will create groups with diverse set of views.
Technique; Move room furniture to one side to give space for the line-up. Give students a statement to evaluate. Outline an invisible line across the room, with one end signifying agreement with the statement and the other end, disagreement. Ask students to line themselves up according to their degree of agreement or disagreement with the statement. Split the line down the middle and ask the two groups to face each other so that the students with the most opposite views are facing each other. Ask them to then discuss their reasons for their positions.
Favourite room for this activity; D222 (22 seats)
Details of recommended learning spaces for these activities are found below;
- Rooms with tables and chairs with castors and squiggle glass: A109 (35), A214 (30), AG08 (40), B307B/C (70), BLG08 (32), BM02 (25), BM03 (25), C340 (50), D104 (60) and E212 (60)
- Collaborative style lecture theatre seating with squiggle glass- BLG07 (65) has fixed swivel seating
- Learning rooms with Node chairs and squiggle glass: A112 (16) and D222 (22). AG24B (25 – SHS only).
- Computer room with round cluster tables and moveable seating and squiggle glass: AG24A (30PCs – SHS 2-week booking priority).
Tip for group work! Try out some effective stop start strategies to easily end discussions and bring the focus back to you, i.e. hand signals, audio prompt, timer on the board or arrange the discussion so that the discussion can end in time for a break.
For more ideas on group work activities in flexible learning spaces visit http://tinyurl.com/LSgroupwork.
This blog draws on the following works:
Surgenor, P. (2010) Teaching Toolkit in UCD Teaching and Learning Resources [online] Available from: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/ucdtlt0021.pdf (Accessed 02.05.14)
Quigley, A. (2010) Top Ten Group Work Strategies in Hunting English [blog] Available from: http://www.huntingenglish.com/2013/01/12/top-ten-group-work-strategies (Accessed 02.05.14)
University of Waterloo, n.d. Group Work in the Classroom: Types of Small Groups [online] Available from: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/developing-assignments/group-work/group-work-classroom-types-small-groups (Accessed 02.05.14)
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