Creating classroom exercises for Grad students
September 7, 2014 11:12 PM   Subscribe

I am a first time teaching assistant and the professor that I am working with has asked me to create or come up with interactive classroom activities. I am not sure how to go about this. Are there any resources anyone can recommend to me? The topic is health equity and the class is for masters of public health students. The topic for this class is ‘theories and framework; oppressive Institutions’. Students will identify one article which links to the criminal justice system, or the educational or housing systems (including segregation or redlining) to a health outcome. Naturally students could be group based on the systems they are analyzing, discuss in small groups, and report back to the larger class. Any other ideas? We will be focusing a lot on the social determinants of health. I did a quick google search looking for a webinar or pdf with no real luck. Most of the links I found were defunct. I have pasted the topics I was hoping to find information on.

Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom
Description: Planning classroom activities takes time, especially at first. In this session you will learn from experienced TAs about the strategies they use to plan classroom activities and how they assess the outcome of the activity
posted by TRUELOTUS to Education (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Active learning is awesome. I have about a zillion good articles on it. If I don't remember to post them. Here when on computer tomorrow, memail me.
posted by k8t at 11:32 PM on September 7, 2014

You activities need to be tied to the learning goals of the class too.
posted by k8t at 12:35 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Check out this related AskMefi post.

The 'workshops' I created for my classes were not only a great learning tool, but enjoyed by the students.
posted by maya at 1:54 AM on September 8, 2014

Reciprocal teaching is great! I taught esl to some highly educated adults recently...with very dry material (tax law) and we used several exercises from " the literacy solution" by action learning systems.... They loved it.
posted by misspony at 2:09 AM on September 8, 2014

Classroom Activities for Active Learning from University of North Carolina
posted by unknowncommand at 7:38 AM on September 8, 2014

One activity I like (which I think works well for grownups) is a "jigsaw," where each person in a small group reads one article and then presents it to the rest of the group. In this case I wouldn't have them group up in "criminal justice," "housing," and "educational" groups but rather have (class size / 3) groups, each with one person who's doing one article. It's great for early in the class because people who don't do the work immediately find themselves called upon to present to their classmates and it creates social pressure to actually do the reading.
posted by mskyle at 9:42 AM on September 8, 2014

You might find it helpful to read some of the practical literature out there in the Adult Education field. TAs are often thrown into teaching and made to reinvent the wheel in terms of student participation (ask me how I know...), when there are TONS of resources already out there that will let you focus on adapting content to specific activities rather than being overwhelmed trying to create activities and exercises to get your students engaged.

I personally think McKeachie's Teaching Tips is an extremely practical book with lots of examples, and Stephen Brookfield's work is very accessible and will introduce you to some general ideas of adult education. Powerful Techniques for Teaching Adults would probably be a good start.
posted by augustimagination at 12:35 PM on September 8, 2014

Thanks to the folks who answered the question, you really rock, and know your stuff. This is why I keep coming back to metafilter, and recommending the site to other folks :)
posted by TRUELOTUS at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2014
posted by k8t at 1:39 PM on September 20, 2014

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