An Easy Activity to Make Assigned Reading Interactive

Decorative: Four file cards


1. "Flipping Foundation" (post) outlines an easy-to-use, reading-based, active-learning activity "to help learners improve their critical thinking skills."

  • "As we consider the need for writing test items at the application and analysis level (key strategy for creating effective exams), it is essential to teach in that way as well."
  • "It is not appropriate to test at the application/analysis level (crucial to assess critical thinking ability) and teach at the knowledge and comprehension level."

2. Preparation: Before Class

  • "[H]ave the students bring a note card to class with three priorities on it from their reading," with both the reading and the note-making having been done on the sudents' own time before class.
  • "Ask them to look at everything in a certain chapter/section and list very briefly what would be the most important things ... to understand related to the reading assignment" within the context of the topic or module under discusssion, the learning objectives or the essential ideas of the course, or real-life application of their learning.
  • "For the priorities, direct the students to not list more than two or three sentences about each of the three priorities."
  • "They should bring their note cards to class."

3. In-Class

  • "To begin class, have [the students] find someone in the room that they have not talked to yet today."
  • "The dyads then compare what priorities were listed on the cards."
  • "After a few minutes of collaboration, the instructor will randomly choose a dyad [or several] to share their comparison."
  • Further large- or whole-group discussion may follow.

4. Benefit

  • "This strategy helps to motivate students to be prepared for class ... [so] class can become more of an interactive-situated learning experience than a one-way broadcast lecture."
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