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Glossary


Turn-to-Your-Neighborsearch for term

This is a very useful technique for any size class. With this approach, faculty give their students a problem to work on (figures or tables to interpret, a written question etc.) and simply ask them to "turn to their neighbors" in the class and discuss the problem. Students should work in small groups of 3-4. The success of this approach depends a great deal on the problem given to the students. It should be challenging enough that they need to discuss it with their colleagues, but not too hard or long to be too frustrating. It should also focus on a core concept or course goal (e.g. helping students apply information from one situation to another). Karl Smith, an engineering professor and education reformer from the University of Michigan, uses this approach in a formalized way in many of his classes. He first gives a quick overview of the focus of the "lecture". Then he lectures for 10 minutes or so to prepare the students for the first turn-to-your-neighbor? problem. After the students discuss the problem with their neighbors, he quiets the class with a bell and opens the discussion, calling on students if necessary. After this he lectures again for 10 minutes to cement the idea illustrated by the problem. This is followed by another problem and discussion. He finishes the class with an overview of the main concepts and points. Dr. Smith finds that this combination of cooperative groupwork and targeted, spaced lectures helps students learn the material required for engineers in a way that emphasizes cooperation, learning how to listen and how to explain, problem solving with others, and active engagement. Think-Pair-Share? is a modification of turn-to-your-neighbor. With think-pair-share students are asked to first think about the problem on their own before they pair up with another student to discuss it. "Share" indicates the whole class discussion that follows.

Resources: http://www.isu.edu/ctl/nutshells/nutshell12-2.html