Is there ever enough time in class to do everything you wish? You’re already employing one out-of-classroom model to extend instruction, but, says Dr. Mayo, three that you might not have considered can help you become even more effective at teaching. Though not necessarily easy at first, these models’ merits make them worth a try.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
This past fall, we reviewed a number of issues and strategies for assessment. This spring, we will focus on learning activities for students, starting with a discussion of the value of developing and using out-of-class activities. My next “Mayo’s Clinic” will focus on using interviews as a learning activity. This month the column will explore several models of out-of-class activities.
Reasons for Out-of-Classroom Activities
There are many reasons to use out-of-class activities. Because there is never enough classroom time to do all that we want to do, out-of-class activities keep the learning going during the days between class meetings, offer an opportunity to maximize the benefits of in-class time, and provide a chance for students to become independent learners doing their own thing, within certain boundaries.
For years, we have been assigning out-of-class activities—the primary one being reading material in the textbook and coming to class prepared to discuss or use the information—but we don’t often think of them as such. In our experience, that was homework! We also assign the task of researching recipes or developing a mise en place list for the laboratory session, among many other assignments.