The link above will take you to a digital project created by a PIDP 3250 classmate, Candiss Brown, who explores the student engagement technique of “Stand Where You Stand”. Candiss’ digital project provides you with sufficient information so that you can get started with using this technique in your own classroom. This digital project is visually stimulating and engaging.
In order to utilize this technique the instructor needs to find two essays that express opposing views on a controversial topic relevant to the course they are teaching. Before the next class the instructor hangs signs reading agree, strongly agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. The instructor then reads a statement that reflects one of the two positions taken in the essays. The students then need to write down whether the agree or disagree with the statement with supporting rationale, quotes, arguments, or evidence found in the essays. Then have the students go and stand under the sign that depicts their view on the topic. Each student then shares their rationale as to why the support or do not support the statement. Student are free to move to a different sign throughout this activity if they are swayed by their peers insights. The activity is then concluded with a whole class discussion where the students share how their perspectives did or did not change due to the arguments presented. (Barkley, 2010).
I have used this strategy in the past and find that it is a strong strategy to increase student engagement while promoting many other skills. This strategy really promotes students’ critical reflection skills as they are encouraged to take a stance on a controversial issue. This helps students to engage with the course material deeper as they internalize their feeling on the topic. This is a wonderful student-centered activity that stimulates collaboration, sharing of insights, and can help increase intrinsic motivation within your students.
Some struggles I have experience when utilizing this technique are finding out some students did not come to class prepared, not all students feel comfortable with sharing their thoughts on the topic, and good classroom management is needed or you can end up with a very “lively” debate. Overall the benefits of utilizing this strategy far outweigh the disadvantages and I would highly recommend utilizing this strategy if you don’t already.
Barkley, E.F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass