Concept Maps or Mind Maps – You can have students work in groups or individually to create a visual representation of the interconnecting content within a particular field of knowledge. Concept maps can take on a variety of forms. They can have one central topic or multiple topics, be hierarchical in structure or more free form, and describe connecting ideas or cause and effect. You can also start a concept map or mind map with a central question. There are multiple online sources that can help with diagrams but you can also use microsoft powerpoint to create a more free-form concept map or mind map.

The Minute Thesis – Create columns on the board that lists the content and themes that you covered throughout the semester. Then, have students draw lines between content and themes to see if it helps them to create a unique argument.

Dinner Party – Pick a topic and have students write or act out what different authors would say to one another at a dinner party. You can also choose a current event.

Making Time for Students to Practice Your Assessments – Providing in-class time for students to practice whatever you assign in your course can give them the means to try something out and to get immediate feedback. Consider following these steps to create practice assessments:

  1. Unpack your assessments and figure out what it is that you are asking students to accomplish. Are you asking them to read and annotate a complicated piece of text? Do they need to write a research paper? Whatever the assessment is, take the time to break apart what they need to do. For example, a research paper may require a literature review, how can you make time for students to practice this task in class?
  2. Take a short amount of time to practice in class. If, for example, they have to write a literature review, have them practice synthesizing three different ideas in one paragraph.
  3. Once they are done practicing, have peers give each other feedback or provide feedback directly as the instructor.

Have students make a short skit – Students can take a class concept or reading and bring it to life through a short skit. In order to do this effectively, consider defining what the level of participation should be (e.g. each student should have at least three lines) and how roles in the actual performance can vary.

Case Study/Problem-Based Learning  Create a scenario or pose a real world problem where students can take course concepts and apply them.