10 routines for teaching online – #6 listen for the lie

by / Monday, 02 November 2020 / Published in Assessment, Instruction, Routines

liesDo your students sometimes look bored when you are giving a mini-lecture? Does it feel like you are speaking into the wind from time to time? Do you want to say “Hey! Are you paying attention or what?” There’s a simple routine solution to fix that, and to get your students to be more attentive, especially when there is some positive reinforcement attached to it in the form of getting a few extra credit points toward their grade.

From time to time, before you start a mini-lecture, announce that you’ll be doing the lecture as usual with one twist, and that is that you are going to say something that is a deliberate lie, a piece of misinformation, something you know is not true about your topic. This can be in the form of a wrong calculation, quoting the wrong person, saying the exact opposite of what is true…anything that will stand right out and that your students can jump on to say “Hey teacher! That’s not right!”

Promoting active listening in your class doesn’t have to be a huge labor. You can even trick them by telling them you will say something false, but then don’t say anything false and award extra-extra credit for those who catch you lying about lying!

Small things like this can assure that your online sessions run well, your students stay motivated and on task, and gives you yet another avenue of formative feedback that can help improve the quality and depth of your mini-lectures.

If you DO try this, I would really like to see it in action! Drop me an email and an invite to the online session that you tried this with, as I’d like to enhance this advice at a future date!

This is a new series of tips for teaching online. This series focuses on the small things, in this case, small routines that you can, and should, easily incorporate into your every day instruction online. These routines address student motivationparticipation, and metacognitive training leading to higher order thinking skills that focus on the conceptual and metacognitive knowledge dimensions from Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).

Previous posts in this series include:

#10 Reflection

#9 A language pause

#8 Kahoot! ‘Did you know or did you guess?’

#7 Cooperative learning group roles

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