by Scott Gibby
In my Spanish classes, lecture had always taken up more class time than I wanted it to. I tried so many things to get students to prepare ahead of time, yet homework went undone and students complained they couldn’t understand the material on their own.
This semester I have stumbled across something that is working. First, I converted my Powerpoint presentations into VoiceThreads and then recorded my lecture over them. I also supply students with a guided notes exercise to complete while they watch the VoiceThread. Then, at the beginning of class, I answer any questions they might have before giving them a quiz during which they are allowed to use the guided notes. I would estimate that 90 percent of my students have completed and are using the guided notes on the quiz. Later, during the class, they participate in activities that practice the concepts they learned in the guided notes exercise while I circulate to help small groups and individuals.
I could not be more pleased with how well this is working. It has opened up class time for legitimate speaking practice and other activities that I did not have time for in the past.