Ever been in a classroom where you just cannot keep your eyes open? We all have. Mine was American history my sophomore year of undergrad (Spring 2002). No matter how much sleep I got or how fast I chugged that Coke, I couldn’t stay focused. Two things about this struck me: first, I love history and school. I feel lost without school and I am always eager to learn. Second, other students were crashing too. Eventually, the huge lecture class dwindled to fifteen alternating attendees, until test day, when the auditorium would fill up again.
Why was this? Were we all just poor students? We weren’t engaged. The instructor would walk up to the middle of the stage, pull his textbook out of his bag, and proceed to read aloud the chapters we were to read for this class session.
There was only one class where I was strangely awake. He was asking questions, and we were answering, discussing, and, low and behold, learning.
Engage them. Discuss. Activities. Scenarios. Something!