icebreakers

Back to School Icebreakers Part 2: Get to Know Your Students

College students aren’t the only ones who experience anxiety going back to school and heading into the first day of class. Professors are faced with all new classes, with some familiar faces but many unknowns. How can you use icebreakers to get to know your students? While you can use some icebreaker ideas to watch your students interact and learn about them that way, there are also icebreakers designed to help you gain a better understanding of your students’ goals for the semester in a brief period—or designed to help them understand what to expect from your class starting Read More…


Back to School Icebreakers Part 1: Facilitating Group Learning

The first day of class can be full of anxiety for many college students, especially freshman, suddenly surrounded by strangers who they are supposed to be learning with for the rest of the semester. Cliques can quickly form of students who already know each other, or who have obviously similar interests based on appearances. In order to facilitate group learning in your classroom, consider using an icebreaker on the first day of class. Icebreakers can help get rid of back to school jitters, and can help prepare students for working in groups and teams throughout the semester.

Why build

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Adjunct Nation: Striving for Excellence

Implementing active learning is a fantastic way to liven up discussions and encourage higher-level thinking. But what does active learning look like in practice? Shawn Orr, Manager of Faculty Training & Engagement at Cengage Learning and Adjunct Instructor at Adrian College, recently led a webinar on this very topic, in which she shared strategies she uses to get her students enthusiastically participating. The following is an excerpt from that webinar: What can I do so that my students are actively involved, so they are learning and retaining? I look at the classes that I taught 22 years ago and Read More…


Even More Icebreakers for College Courses!

You let us know loud and clear… You want icebreakers!

In that spirit, we’re sharing three additional icebreakers for college courses, submitted by Cengage Learning Faculty Partners Essie Childers, Mary Margarita Legner, and Solomon Willis. Check out their fun ideas and try them out in your own courses!

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Great Icebreakers for the College Classroom

The weather outside may be chilly, but there’s no reason you can’t “warm up” your classes with a great icebreaker activity!

We asked Cengage Learning’s Faculty Partners: “What’s your favorite ‘icebreaker’ and how do you use it in class?” Below, you’ll find some of their great suggestions. Whether you teach in a classroom or in the online environment, we believe you’ll find something that will engage your students!
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Cool Icebreakers for College Courses

As the Fall term approaches, you’re getting ready to welcome a new set of students into your classroom. To foster lively discussion and interaction throughout the course of the term, it can help to devote time at the beginning of class to activities that encourage students to engage with, and become familiar with, one another. Below, we’ve shared three icebreakers for college courses. These enjoyable activities can help your students get acquainted, while also learning valuable student success skills, as well as important information about your course.

Three Great Icebreakers for College Courses

Syllabus Quiz
Create a quiz on your syllabus (ex. “The first assignment Read More…


More Icebreaker Activities: You Share Your Favorites!

Previously at the Engaging Minds blog, we’ve shared a number of icebreaker activities that will engage students and get them talking on the first day of class. We also asked our readers to share the icebreaker activities that they’ve found especially effective. Today, we’re presenting a few of these icebreaker activities, which allow students to begin building the connections that support their success and create classroom community.

Share your favorite icebreaker activities in the comments section below.

  I always do a “Meet and Greet” where students share any professional experience and some personal information (like hobbies and interests). I Read More…


Guidelines for Effective Group Discussions

Whether it’s the first day of class or you’re several weeks into the term, group discussions provide your students with the opportunity to get to know one another and see new perspectives as they explore course topics. As the instructor (and facilitator of those conversations), you want to keep these discussions on topic… and keep them from losing focus, losing steam, or turning sour. The good news: by putting some basic ground rules in place, you’ll set the stage for effective and meaningful conversations that leave you and your students enlightened, inspired, and enthusiastic about the learning experience. In the Instructor’s Resource Read More…


Icebreakers for Online Courses

Because students in online courses may never have the opportunity to meet face to face, they may not initially feel the type of connection that typically facilitates and enlivens discussion in an on-campus class. However, once online students get to know a bit about one another, their conversations around course content can become more meaningful. It simply takes a bit of time, as well as the opportunity and the space, for these types of acquaintanceship-building discussions to take root. With these icebreakers for online courses, selected from Instructor’s Resource Manual for Christine Harrington, Ph.D.’s Student Success in College: Read More…


Icebreaker Activities: Getting Acquainted

Students walk in to the first day of class not knowing quite what to expect from you or their classmates. They may know just a few people… or, they may scan the room and see no familiar faces. They know basic information about what you’ll cover in the course, but they probably don’t yet know you, your teaching style, or the finer points of your course and its organization. Many of them may feel anxious about or intimidated by all these “unknowns.” To help students warm up to one another, and to you, it can help to open up Read More…