Lyons: How To Survive When You’re Not Prepared For Class (TOTW #13)

This is a post from the “Tip of the Week” series by Richard Lyons which is no longer available, although it is archived on Internet Archive’s Way Back Machine.  Below this is a link to the full original tip at Internet Archive.

How To Survive When You’re Not Prepared For Class

In spite of your best intentions, situations will sometimes arise – illness, family emergencies, overwhelming projects – that prevent your being adequately prepared for a particular class meeting. Formulate now a contingency plan to address this situation when it happens to you. Some possibilities include:

  • Focusing on a critical concept addressed in your previous class meeting, identify a current, relevant example. Then, identify several perspectives from which the issue might be viewed, fostering within students a more comprehensive understanding of the concept. For example, if your Business Law class had studied bankruptcy, focus on a recently announced corporate bankruptcy. Divide the class into groups of three or four students, each of which would focus on the case from the viewpoint of a stakeholder group, such as employees, suppliers, shareholders, the business media, etc.
  • Recruit a guest speaker from your circle of friends or work colleagues, who you know to have made a presentation on a topic of relevance in your course. Ask them to reprise their presentation and answer student questions that might emerge. Take good notes during the presentation, and use these to stimulate further discussion after the guest leaves. Be aware, of course, that you have incurred a significant personal debt, and offer to repay it promptly in a way that would be perceived as valuable to your rescuer.

The full post is available at the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Rick W. Burkett runs the John A. Logan College Teaching and Learning Center, teaches history, and heads an educational nonprofit. He publishes blogs on a wide variety of topics, including history, teaching and learning, student success, and teaching online.

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