The LectureTools Blog

3 Ways Matt Stearmer Uses LectureTools to Engage Students Before, During, and After Class

Posted by Christopher Machielse on Thu, November 29, 2012

LectureTools provides an active learning platform that makes it easier for professors to teach more interactively, engaging students with laptops during class. Matt Stearmer, an instructor at Ohio State, however, finds that LectureTools helps engage his students not only during, but also before and after class.

Here are the 3 ways Matt uses LectureTools to teach his Introduction to Sociological Theory class:

1. Provide content before class

Matt posts the material the class will be covering for the week on LectureTools in advance. This provides students with the foundation to better understand the textbook reading and have the definitions before the first class of the week.

Giving students exposure to the concepts for upcoming lectures allows Matt to teach beyond a surface understanding. Rather than introducing concepts in class, he is able to allot more time in class to discussions, specific examples, and details.


2. Use in-class activities to create times for telling

Matt uses the interactive activities in LectureTools as a way to create times for telling. Asking students a question allows them to practice applying concepts from class. Even if students miss the question, it provides an opportunity for them to see that they weren’t alone in their answer choice and learn why their answer was perhaps partially, but not fully, correct. Such questions are a great way to spark a class discussion.


3. Measure understanding with practice quizzes

Because students see changes made to published lectures, Matt also uses activity slides to put practice quizzes online on Friday. He then notifies his students that questions are online, and reveals the answers the next day. About half of his class tries these optional practice quizzes before answers are posted.

The results help Matt identify where students are struggling and help students get an idea of what material they will be responsible for on Matt’s in-class quizzes. Matt is able to use the quiz results and questions that his students submit to prepare his slides for the next week, ensuring that he includes material to help clear up any confusion.


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Topics: classroom engagement strategies, interactive classroom technology, Teaching with Technology, Student-Instructor Interaction, Engaging Students in the Classroom, Classroom Response Systems, student engagement strategies, LectureTools Case Studies