What does it take to create an engaging classroom experience? As an instructor, we’re sure you have your own response to this question.

But what would students say? How would they inspire and engage a classroom full of learners?

Below, we’ve shared summaries of the strategies that appeared in our “Instructor for a Day” contest finalists’ videos. You’ll find twenty fun and creative ideas from the minds of students. To see all they and to say, be sure to view and vote for your favorite submission on our “Instructor for a Day” student scholarship Facebook page!

Twenty Things College Students Would Do if They Were “Instructor for a Day”

1. Use collaborative, interactive methods. Aaron Richardson, a student at Madisonville Community College, would engage students by using “mind warm-ups,” competitions, small-group activities, and other strategies that get students active and involved in the lesson. » View and vote for Aaron’s entry

2. Start with the tools that are familiar to students. Afraaz Ahmed at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign would increase students’ participation by using tech tools that are familiar and enjoyable to them. » View and vote for Afraaz’s entry

3. Get students moving. Alexis Tischler, a student at Palm Beach State College, believes in the power of the “FIG Method” (Focus, Interaction, and Games) to get students engaged. » View and vote for Alexis’s entry

4. Let students know that they’re respected and valued. Andrew Dorbu of Columbus State University would create a comfortable environment that encourages dialogue. » View and vote for Andrew’s entry

5. Try out innovative tactics designed to promote active learning. Austin Otto at the University of St. Thomas would use flipped-classroom strategies, 3-D printing technologies, and a course-specific app to turn the classroom into an active, hands-on learning environment. » View and vote for Austin Otto’s entry

6. Assign projects that engage students’ skills and creativity. Austin Sanders at the University of Dubuque would engage students’ creative and technical skills, assigning video projects and presentations that prompt students to tell a story. » View and vote for Austin Sanders’s entry

7. Use smart technology to boost collaboration. B. April Eom at Midwestern University would allow students to use interactive tools (such as clickers, or their own smartphones and tablets) to share their ideas and answers with their classmates. » View and vote for B. April’s entry

8. Find multiple ways to keep students motivated. Braelyn DuBois, a student at Central Connecticut State University, would motivate students through fun but challenging projects, positive feedback, and frequent rewards for a job well done. » View and vote for Braelyn’s entry

9. Make reviewing fun (and a little bit competitive). Deborah Landry, a nursing student at the Lincoln College of New England, would lead her class in a rousing round of “RN Bingo,” a game that combines a review of chapter material with fun and competition. » View and vote for Deborah’s entry

10. Emphasize the joy in learning. Folasade Adeniji of Georgia State University would craft fun hands-on learning assignments that encourage students to use their skills and strengths. » View and vote for Folasade’s entry

11. Ensure that the material resonates with students. University of Cincinnati student Jessica Brawand would be sure to show how course concepts apply to students’ professional and personal lives. » View and vote for Jessica’s entry

12. Relate material to current events and pop culture. Koren Dunn, a student at Texas A&M, would bring in examples from current events that help students make connections between your course material and the world around them. » View and vote for Koren’s entry

13. Communicate knowledge with passion. Laura Turner at American University believes the keys to effective instruction are passion, knowledge, and patience. » View and vote for Laura’s entry

14. Bring your enthusiasm into every aspect of the class, from start to finish. Leo Brown at the California State University Stanislaus would enhance the student experience by communicating his own enthusiasm, and by bringing in activities and demonstrations that spark students’ energy and interaction in the classroom. » View and vote for Leo’s entry

15. Encourage the students to become teachers themselves. Malak Kabalan at the University of Michigan would create a positive and motivating environment, asking students to teach subjects to their peers and learn from one another. » View and vote for Malak’s entry

16. Be a superhero! Mareesa Nosalik, who attends the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, would use her “superpowers” of enthusiasm, activities, and variety to engage students. » View and vote for Mareesa’s entry

17. Engage through educational entertainment. Mashallah Salaam of Durham Tech would write songs that make key course concepts memorable. » View and vote for Mashallah’s entry

18. Put a humorous spin on things. Rene Castro at the University of Texas at Austin would use humor to create connections in the classroom. » View and vote for Rene’s entry

19. Make it practical. Riley Budd at Brigham Young University would design a project-based curriculum with an emphasis on problem solving and practical skills such as collaboration, goal setting, and time management. » View and vote for Riley’s entry

20. Foster a positive environment. Sandra Kurth, University of Cincinnati–Blue Ash, wants to a create a positive, interactive environment that welcomes students to share their insights and questions. » View and vote for Sandra’s entry



Like these ideas? Watch and vote for your favorite submission on our “Instructor for a Day” student scholarship Facebook page!