Delivering Content & Assessing Student Learning: Demonstrations with Note Taking

I have a class this semester that loses their concentration is and easily distracted but they enjoy my class. Traditional methods (reading the text, demonstrations, quizzes, worksheets) were not working because they were not listening and able to apply what they heard and learned. Out of desperation of getting through to them I asked for their suggestions on how to make the class more productive and increase real learning. Unfortunately they did not provide usable feedback. I tried lots of methods with this class and one of the most successful was giving demonstrations that they had to take notes on, then complete an assignment only using their notes. The degree of concentration went up significantly and the learning stuck because they saw, wrote, read, and applied the information.

2. Watch a Demonstration and Take Notes

Pros Cons
o   Three ways of interacting with content: hearing, watching, writing

o  Interactive because students can ask questions throughout demonstration (not so with videos)

o Can moderate pace based on class

o You often have to repeat yourself for students to write down everything you said

o Takes longer than a normal demonstration

o Teacher must be able to relay in words in depth content

Ex. Teacher demonstration on how to make pies. Students have to take notes on the demonstration and are told up front that they will only be allowed to use their notes to complete a practical pie quiz the next class. No recipes will be given only their notes will be allowed. The following class each group is given a different type of pie to complete (mini apple pie, pudding pie, apple turnovers, etc). The quiz can be assigned individually or as a group. Students then have to go over their notes to make a successful crust and finished product.

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