Giving and receiving feedback is essential for everyone. Bob Dignen (2014) has highlighted 5 reasons why he believes feedback is a vital skill for people to learn.
- Feedback is omnipresent
- Feedback is another word for effective listening
- Feedback is an opportunity to motivate
- Feedback is essential to improve performance
- Feedback is a way to keep learning
Therefore, it is important for teachers to provide students with multiple opportunities to exchange feedback, amongst themselves and with their teachers. To make sure that feedback sessions are effective and constructive, they should be designed towards achieving a specific goal. The teacher should learn effective feedback strategies in order to serve as a model of excellence for the students. Furthermore, just like with discussion groups, clear norms and expectations should be set for these kinds of sessions.
Presentations are useful, not only for students to develop their oral presentation skills, but for them to gain some insight into their classmates’ topics, as well as to deepen their knowledge of their own research topic. Teachers could then consider integrating a peer evaluation system to ensure that the student audience are actively learning, or they could provide students with a template with which they can assess their fellow students’ presentations. This encourages critical thinking and increases engagement and participation.
Debates are an excellent example of in-class activity that gives students the chance to develop a number of 21st century skills (e.g. critical thinking, communication, collaboration, information literacy, self-direction, presentation). There are many different types of debates that can be used in a classroom. If teachers decide to instigate debates in the classroom, they should make sure to pick the one that best matches their learning objectives.
Many theories say that students learn more effectively when they experience direct interaction with their subject. Obvious examples include chemistry, medicine, biology, and other classes that prepare students for a more hands-on profession, which consequently require a practical education in addition to a theoretical one. However, “hands-on” can also refer to activities during which students apply what they are **** learning in order to produce meaningful results. Think of statistics classes that involve manipulating and analyzing data, which can’t be done with formula’s and programs alone, but also requires interpretation.
Case study analysis
Finally, case studies give students the opportunity to analyze the subject in depth, be it a person, an event, an organization, a policy, a law, or a political movement. It requires the student to look at what they are analyzing from multiple perspectives, using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. Of course, the case studies have to be linked to the course content, and, depending on the learning objective, teachers can ask students to either work individually or in groups. They can also have them report their results and findings in various forms, such as presentations or written reports.