Want to know what students think of your lessons? As a current university student, I’ve been to boring lectures after boring lecture, where the professors rarely attempt to engage with their students. I often walk away thinking, “What did I learn? Was that worth it?”
The most useful lectures I’ve attended have been given by professors who genuinely wanted their students to learn and ENJOY themselves too. My favorite professors use various tools to engage their students because they know that when the students are actively engaged, they are learning the material. AhaSlides’ incredible features make it so easy for you to become one of these thoughtful and exciting teachers.
What’s one of the biggest fears as a teacher? Using technology in the classroom? Ditch this fear and embrace it – you can turn these distracting devices into your greatest teaching assets.
With AhaSlides, your students can search your customized presentation code on any smart-device. And, BOOM they are immediately connected with your current slide and can interact in many different ways. Students can even react to the slide by liking, disliking, questioning, smiling, or any other reaction you choose to include or not.
I’ll go over the following features you can connect with your students below:
- Interactive Quiz
- Multiple Choice/Open Ended Slides
- Word Clouds
I used to panic when I heard the word “QUIZ” in school – but if I knew it was an AhaSlides quiz, I would have been so excited. Using AhaSlides, you can create your own interactive quiz to share with your students. Sit back and watch as your students become intrigued when real-time results come in from their devices. In addition, you can choose to make it an anonymous quiz. That way, students can focus on the learning and not whether or not they get the answers right. Or, introduce some friendly competition and show their names so they can race to the top of the leaderboard.
It’s a great tool to spark competitive action that will bring students out of their shell and they will enjoy the friendly competition.
Multiple Choice and Open-ended
Professors often give lengthy presentations and expect students to pay attention the entire time. This never works, I would know. Why not try being a memorable professor and encourage audience participation?
Try AhaSlides’ Multiple Choice or Open-ended slides that prompt students to answer questions on their phone! You can ask them a question on what they read the night before, a detail from the homework, or things just explained in the presentation.
Not only will your students be actively engaged, but they will also retain the correct answer. The brain recalls information easier when it’s introduced in varying ways. For example, if your student remembers that they got a particular fact wrong in your presentation, they will make new neuron connection and distinctly remember the correct answer. This is why people study in different environments or chew a particular brand of gum, so information can be recalled based off of where they were sitting or a flavor they connect to it.
A great tool by AhaSlides is the Word Clouds feature. This can be used in many different contexts, and be a great tool for those visual learners in your class. Professors can use it to ask for suggestions, to describe a character or concept, or take-aways from the lesson.
For example, you can ask students what they thought of last night’s reading homework with a prompt to ask what they thought of a certain character, event, or plot line. If people submit the same word, that word will appear bigger in the Word Cloud. It’s a great conversation starter and a way to involve everyone’s voice, even the shy kids in the back.
Do you ever get blank stares at the end of a lesson? Or when you ask if anyone has questions? You know for a fact that some students haven’t understood the lesson, but they won’t speak up! Create a question slides where students can write in questions either anonymously or with their name. You can choose to vet the questions on your screen before they’re displayed or have them pop up in real-time. This will allow you to see if many people have the same questions or more specific ones. This amazing tool can show you where the cracks are in your lesson and help you improve!
This is my favorite tool because there are so many times where I’m too scared to participate in class. I don’t want to stand up in front of a hundred students and ask a question that might make me look dumb – but I know for a fact other people have the same question.
I can’t wait to use AhaSlides this upcoming school year, and I hope some of my professors read this article and use this tool too. Did I mention that it’s also free?