Mayo's Clinics

Dec 17, 2017, 13:26

Mayo’s Clinic: Expanding the Range of Activities—Small Groups

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

fredmayoLess easy than it might seem, there’s a strategy to forming small groups that makes group activities in class more effective and enhances student learning.

Last month, we discussed ways of expanding the range of activities in a classroom by using pairs. This month, we discuss small groups and small-group work. Most of us have developed a series of individual, small-group and large-group activities that work for the courses we teach, and we are always looking for more ideas. This Mayo’s Clinic may help you think of some new ideas.

To make small groups successful, we must consider how we create the small groups, what we ask them to do, and what resources they need.

Mayo’s Clinics: Expanding the Range of Activities—Pairs

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

fredmayoForming dyads requires students to clarify their own thinking before sharing it with another student, and then discuss it before sharing it with the entire class.

Last month, we discussed using current events in the classroom. This month, we will talk about strategies for using more and varied learning activities in our classroom by focusing on pairs.

Most of us have developed a series of strategies for working with small groups. This Mayo’s Clinic may remind some of you why they are helpful and suggest new ways to work with pairs of students in your classes.

Reasons for Pairs
Using pairs—often called dyads—In class is a way to help students feel comfortable discussing a topic that is new to them or one in which they do not feel well prepared, either because of difficulty learning the material, the lack of time spent studying or for some other reason. By letting them talk with just one other student, they can start to build a vocabulary for the topic and some confidence about the topic. It also enables them to learn from someone else who may know more or less; either way, it can be a learning experience.

Mayo’s Clinics: Using Current Events in Classes

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

fredmayoStudents give high marks to reporting on current events—even though it requires more work from them—and indicate they learn more as a result.

Making your subject relevant and helping students see what is happening in our industry are only two of the many reasons to use current events in your teaching. Making it a regular part of your classroom activities also keeps students reading newspapers, Web sites and industry publications and encourages them to use search engines on a regular basis.

Since I have been using current events in several of my classes, I have found that students eagerly bring current events to classes and even send me current events by e-mail if they must miss class. It has really expanded the range of activities I use in class, and I encourage you to try it if you are not already.

Mayo’s Clinics: Developing a Common Vision for Curriculum Change

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

fredmayoAlthough a common vision for your curriculum takes patience, careful listening and explaining to many audiences, it can excite everyone to contribute and revitalize your program.

Several months ago, we reviewed the process of developing curriculum by identifying and involving the key stakeholders in the curriculum, and then we discussed the challenging task of getting faculty members to make changes in individual courses, especially courses that they feel strongly about or are invested in maintaining in their current focus or format. This month, we will review the larger issue of developing a sense of the goals for the curriculum and the overall vision for the new curriculum.

Mayo’s Clinics: Making Course Changes

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

fredmayoThe task of departmental leaders involves educating faculty members in the need for change and in the changes to be undertaken. As part of that process, it can be helpful to try out new ideas.

Last month, we reviewed the process of developing curriculum by identifying and involving the key stakeholders in the curriculum. The next task in the process of making significant curriculum change involves developing a sense of the goals for the curriculum and the overall vision for the new curriculum. However, the most difficult task can be the third step—making changes in individual courses.