Speed dating teaching activity
With speed learning, students are challenged to have several one on one conversations with the other students.
I communicate a defined outcome as well as a time limit to help focus the discussions.
This lesson plan focuses on conversational practice to encourage English learners to use a wide variety of language functions such as demanding explanations, making complaints, giving warning, etc.
The activity used is a variation on the popular practice of speed dating.
The panel discussion is a valuable, time-tested teaching technique used in classrooms of all types to help students understand the experiences of a particular group of people. As I moved into the graduate classroom as a teacher of students studying higher education I realized I had a short time (one semester) to introduce and expose my students to the vast array of functions in the area of student affairs/student services.
My previous experiences facilitating successful panel discussions led me to believe that a panel would be a good method to use here. In an effort to create a panel that represented a diversity of functions and practitioners, I ended up with too many panelists and, consequently, an ineffective exercise.
This sharing can be done in class or in a written format, which can be compiled and distributed to the entire class.
If you have students in groups, some will dominate and some will play wall flower.As the instructor and panel moderator, one has to manage the questions from the class as well as rein in the excitement and enthusiasm of the panel participants to impart their wisdom. I asked the class for feedback following the inclusion of two panel discussions.They loved the panel but wanted to have time to ask more questions and hear more from each person than time allowed.When I explain speed learning to the students, it is inevitable that one of them will say…is this like the learning version of speed dating, and the answer is, Yes!
Each round has to be long enough for the students to gather some information and short enough to get to each panelist during the activity. Most important is to leave time for reflection for the students.