Why might students not share their ideas?

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Episode 107: Torture University of Maryland

In classes centered on collaborative group work, one of the instructor’s most important jobs is to create an environment in which students express their ideas, engage with each other’s reasoning, and get closer to a scientific understanding. What instructor behaviors might impede these goals for students?

July 2, 2018

Pedagogy Content
Attending to student ideas
Physics Content
Instructor Interaction
STEM-wide audiences

Lesson Contents (4 MB)Student Handout
Transcript, discussion questions, and problem

(2 MB)Specific Lesson Guide
Facilitator's guide for this lesson

(1 MB)General Facilitator's Guide
Background and best practices

(96 MB)Video
Captioned video


Sample Discussion Prompts

  1. What did you notice in this episode? Talk to your neighbor about what you noticed.

  2. The students’ graph has both correct and incorrect features. What features of the graph are correct

  3. For the specific features of the graph that are incorrect, in what way do they make sense? What reasonable ideas might be supporting their incorrect answer?

  4. Judging by the end of the episode, this interaction was not a pleasant one for the students. It seems that they place some of the responsibility for this unpleasantness on the instructor, Luke (since they want to talk to someone else). What did Luke do that might have contributed to unpleasantness

  5. It is worth considering the possibility that this interaction was not pleasant for Luke, either. Did the students do anything that might have made him uncomfortable?

  6. The first step in effectively facilitating student learning is to find out where the students are coming from. Is Luke effective at this? Does he get a good picture of their ideas? If so, how does he do so? If not, what might he do next to learn more?

  7. What does this episode suggest about why students might not share their ideas?

Other Lessons featuring this video

What instructor behaviors are frustrating for students?