Classroom practices are best learnt by experience due to the myriad of details involved in teaching. However, there exist some guidelines on how to get the best of classroom time. In this essay, we categorically suggest classroom methods and analyze the importance of each specific detail (Drummond 2002, para. 1).
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It has been shown that learner retention is normally low in a passive learning environment. Thus, lectures should capture learner attention by dividing a lecture to a passive audience into segments that are mediated by thought-provoking rhetorical questions and some halting time to give students internalization time. The lecturer should also attempt to identify the students in the class who have not understood the lesson adequately and give students a periodical mastery quiz to enhance retention.
Students should also be given an occasional guided lecture in which they spend some time listening to the lecturer without taking notes and then record what they recall and form discussion groups to write full notes with the help of the lecturer in parts where they get stuck (Drummond 2002, para. 3).
Discussion groups are important in ensuring a deep knowledge of class work. There are a number of discussion strategies with each suited to a particular topic of study. The lecturer should select the most appropriate discussion strategy for the students and make sure he evaluates their performance (Drummond 2002, para, 4-6).
Classroom concentration is crucial to the understanding of lecture content. To ensure concentration, the lecturer should ask concentration-arousing questions after explaining each important concept and actively involve students in the lecture. The latter can be achieved by provoking them to ask questions or give their own ideas and expounding the topic without domination and with respect of the contribution of the students. Learner participation can also be encouraged by rewarding it e.g. by complements (Drummond 2002, para. 7-10).
In an active learning environment, tutors should be very selective on the kind of learning activity they engage their students in. They should select an activity that best suits the lesson and realizes the objectives of the lesson and not just an exciting activity that does not meet the objectives of the lesson. They should give numerous examples or illustrations and ensure individual participation even when students are working in groups. They should also stress the importance of group work by brainstorming groups for thought-provoking discussions and giving them group assignments. Simulations and games can also be used to subject students to stressful conditions they may meet in real life (Drummond 2002, para. 11 & 12).
One of the greatest challenges faced by tutors is the setting of the goals of a course and ensuring that each of the classroom sessions is geared towards achieving those objectives. The tutor should ensure that the goals, the objectives and grades are interrelated. In an attempt to ensure that students meet lesson and course goals, tutors should ensure that the feedback from them to students is not offensive and that it gives the students enthusiasm to correct their work (Drummond 2002, para. 16).
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This article is relevant in this essay because it gives an exhaustive analysis of the guidelines to ensuring that students get the best out of their lectures. It is packed with keen details on classroom guidelines and the writer has illustrated his ideas with adequate examples to help the reader understand the classroom methods he suggests. In a nutshell, it is a masterpiece of teaching guidance.
Drummond, T. (2002), “A Brief Summary of the Best Practices in Teaching”, North Seattle Community College. Web.