Purpose: To provide students with an opportunity to think critically about the course material, to draw out students’ misconceptions about an issue related to course content.
- Ask students open-ended questions about the subject to determine their pre-existing knowledge about the subject and to draw out their misconceptions.
- Once you have generated a list of the misconceptions, divide students into small groups and give the students some questions to help guide their discussion. Invite students to think ‘outside of the box’ and come up with another solution.
- Invite groups to share their alternative solutions, their ‘a-ha’ moments that have emerged through their discussion.
- Clarify with the larger group the new method for understanding the problem or issue that has arisen through student observation and discussion.
Tip: This is an activity that would adapt well to any size of classroom. As you increase the scale of any activity, make sure you allow for additional time. Clarifying with students after the class with a summary of the discussion and the new way of looking at the issue/problem. These can be posted online or sent by email. It will help to make sure that students are on the “same page”.