May 20

Let Students Summarize the Lesson

Today Faculty Focus shared a post titled “Let Students Summarize the Previous Lesson” by Maryellen Weimer. It struck home to me and I want to share her post and add some ideas. She emphasized the importance of making connections between class sessions or online, between weekly modules/presentations. However, rather than the instructor making these connections Weimer suggests that our students can create this, and it can be an important step in their learning and exam preparation process.

At iTeach last week we talked about the importance of:

  • Introducing weekly modules or presentations
  • Summarizing the week
  • Connecting one week to another (both looking backwards and forwards)

Students working at computerWe didn’t have time during iTeach to take a close look at Blackboard’s wiki last week and we didn’t compare this tool Google Docs but what a wonderful way to use either of these tools– as a way to share, weekly, the most significant ideas of a module/unit or presentation perhaps highlighting crucial themes or elements and asking significant questions. Using either Google docs or the Bb wiki tool, this document can be created as a single page co-authored by the entire class.

Google Docs has the advantage of allowing students to write and edit simultaneously. Blackboard’s wiki has the advantage of a single sign in without needing to capture email addresses to share the document. Either tool would work. Students could create a single document that contain a running record of the course, the connections and the main ideas. This would be an ideal study document for students before exams too.

Let us know what you think or if you do something similar!

Image credit: iStockPhoto.com @ Jacob A Lund