Hope everyone is wrapping up Spring semester and graduation! Since we have all switched to teaching remotely, I thought it would be a good time to discuss active learning online. Today, we’ll discuss breakout rooms.
Breakout rooms are a fantastic way to initiate active learning in an online teaching environment. They are best in a class that is taught live or synchronous. I am going to talk less about how to initiate breakout rooms and more about the opportunities to engage students when using them.
You can do almost any small group active learning in breakout rooms that you would in the class room. Students have full audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities. Peer-to-peer interaction and feedback can be incorporated. Like small groups in the classroom, they can also promote inclusion by providing an opportunity for low-stakes participation for learners who may be reluctant to chime in during large group sessions. Finally, breakout session activities can serve as a tool for formative assessment as the activities students complete can help instructors gauge achievement of the learning outcomes.
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