Intentionally engaging in a dialog with your students is an effective approach to activate learning.

Setting the Table is a series presented by Dr. Brad Garner, Director of Faculty Enrichment, Center for Learning and Innovation.  In it, he offers his timely research, innovative ideas, and practical applications to strengthen instructors in the classroom.

Question: How do you demonstrate intentionality with your students?  Please leave a comment below.

Presenter: Brad Garner / Director of Faculty Enrichment, Center for Learning and Innovation

Recorded: May 26, 2016

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2 Comments on Setting the Table: Intentionality Part 1 [VIDEO]

  • Ann Simerlink -

    Since I am a Fine Arts instructor, one opportunity I have to demonstrate intentionality with students is to solicit their opinions on a particular painting or musical work. I preempt the discussion by emphasizing that opinions, including liking or not liking a work of art, is not "correct" or "incorrect." Oftentimes this introductory comment to the class discussion engenders in students a feeling of freedom to safely voice their opinions. This tends to have a snowball effect whereby other students then feel empowered to join in on the conversation on a topic they may know very little about, because the fear of correction is removed.

  • Hartford Dawson -

    Thank you for your insightful post Dr. Garner. I totally agree that deliberate action by facilitators to engage students is an effective learning technique. My best academic learning experiences occurred when teachers did not quickly give me answers but prodded me to think about possible answers to my own questions. The teachers accomplished this by asking me questions related to what I asked. This enhanced my critical thinking skills, and made me feel valued as a student.

    Now as a facilitator, I realize that intentionally engaging students in dialogue to critically think not only benefits them, but benefits me as well. This is quite evident when teaching adult learners. Adult learners have a deep reservoir of experiences and valuable information. Deliberately activating withdrawal of these experiences and information and sharing them in the classroom will activate learning for all in the classroom – students and teacher.


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