Increasingly, accreditation agencies are advocating for deeper levels of mastery by our students that include cognition, application, and evaluation, as well as an ability to communicate in various ways.
I was struck by an article I was reading recently that reminded me of an assignment from graduate school. In essence, each student was to present a summary of a research article related to a chronic disease that was assigned. As I read the article related to exercise for people with type I diabetes, there were so many things that I had to look up (in a book…with pages), that I decided to integrate a lesson for the class on type I diabetes into my presentation. It went well because my preparation meant that I really understood what I was talking about. It went so well, in fact, that if I had to choose a moment in my education that cemented my plans to become a professor, that was it.
My recent read suggested that instead of having student groups give “presentations,” have them present an actual class lesson. For me, I truly learn it when I have to teach it, and I’m assuming that is true for our students as well. The beauty of structuring an assignment as a class lesson is that students can incorporate their prior professional and life experiences and their own creativity into the lesson. They can demonstrate to us how they learn best through how they teach their peers, and they can practice teamwork in an authentic environment.
The structure of the presentation will need to be clear and directive with support from the instructor since most students have probably not taught content before. It might look something like this: