Encourage Students to Come to Class Prepared

Give clear expectations.
To maximize learning, students must come to class “prepared.” Give students specific instructions on what they must do to be prepared. For example, know all terms in the chapter, answer the review questions, or take notes on ‘these items’ in the video.

Here are some ideas to hold students accountable for pre-assigned work and to take attendance:

  • Ticket to enter: Students must turn in a pre-class assignment to attend class. The assignment can be simple: write three questions based on the video or reading.
  • Choose a side: If pre-class material has opposing or multiple viewpoints, the students write out which one they think is better and why (the critical thinking piece). Like thinkers meet in class to discuss, followed by a whole-class discussion or debate.
  • Pass-the-problem cheat sheet: For problem-solving and creative activities, let students develop a cheat sheet before class and turn it in. Put them in groups to develop a single cheat sheet, the only resource allowed for the activity to follow. This activity fosters studying, collaboration, teamwork, and accountability to a group. Be explicit and label each piece as “assessment,” “accountability,” etc.; students may not recognize those differences without the label. Explain how the information they are working with fits into their increasing knowledge base, especially with adult learners, who learn in a “why-do-I-need-to-know-this” and “I-want-to-take-charge-of-my-learning” manner.

Adapted from Barbi Honeycutt, Ph.D., the owner of FLIP It Consulting in Raleigh, NC and an adjunct assistant professor at NC State University. Article first-seen on Faculty Focus.