Class Summarizer

I use this exercise to help students develop skills at keeping track of and retaining what takes place during a class discussion.

Two students are assigned as CLASS SUMMARIZERS for each class session. These students are required within a few hours of class time to post a summary of what took place in class. I do not provide very specific guidelines, emphasizing that the summary should not be class “notes” but should be a paragraph or two recapping what they took from our class conversation. The summaries are all posted publicly, and other students in the class are encouraged to comment and respond to them. I also often use the summaries as a starting point for the next class.

This exercise achieves two goals:

1) It keeps students engaged in class discussion because they know they’ll need to recap.

2) It provides a student-generated record of what went on in class throughout the semester so that by the end of the semester students can see how much we’ve accomplished.

(Probably also helps a bit with student preparation for class, since it is easier to stay engaged when you are properly prepared!)

On November 12, 2019 Muhlenberg colleagues gathered to share their teaching hacks. Teaching hacks are relatively simple strategies that we might use to improve student learning or reduce our workload. These strategies might free up additional class time, increase the efficiency of our practices, or better support our ability to work on scholarship or service.

Sharon Albert
Senior Lecturer in Religion Studies

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