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raised hands

I really enjoyed the video clip. And yes there are students that like to raise hand and ask questions and comment. I have found that these students are usually very smart and eagar to get involved and gain most from the class content. Although they do slow you down and the class and keeps bring you back the topics you have covered already.

Sometimes I feel that the class gains from it as we get to discuss previously covered topics and referesh everyone's memory. In addition to that I get a feel for how many students retained the information and to what extent as I tend to involve everyone when I am answering the overly curious student.

Hi Asha,
Glad you enjoyed the video clip and that you are making applications from the course to your classroom. This is what professional development is all about.
The use of discussion sessions really help the students to arrange the content in their mind and then make it a part of their working memories so the more opportunities they have to talk about the content the stronger the retention factor is going to be.

I enjoyed the video because the instance where a students hand has been raised for an extended period of time has occurred to me a number of times in my classroom. Due to the time constraints, curriculum, and other variables that arise each day in class it is sometimes impossible to answer every question raised in the room; though I do my best to answer each and every question sometimes I feel guilty of losing a students question whether it be from the subject of the moment or the idea presented in the past.

Though I do agree that it is critical in our time together to follow the curriculum to its extent and not "go back"; I feel that returning to or giving previous topics a second attempt is more beneficial than harmful in the end...

Hi Rachelle,
Your last statement is a good one in relation to reinforcing what has been taught. It does not hurt to go back and revisit an area because by then the students will have had a chance to think about the topic and internalize their understanding of it. Then they are ready to raise a question or make a statement about it from a more in-depth perspective.

I often find that if a student has a question, and I am still in the middle of a thought in lecture, it is better to acknowledge the student and come back to the question. Eight times out of ten, I have answered the question they were about to ask. If not, the question will often renforce the given lecture. I do not simply let a student sit there with their hand up. In most cases, they are now concentrating on the fact that their hand is up, and not concetrating on note taking.

Acknowledging the student, than going back to the student, I find helps maintain the pace of the class period.

The only real concern I have, is when the student "forgets" their question, when I go back to answer the question.

Hi Jason,
This is a good way to deal with student questions while keeping the flow of the lecture going. What you can do is acknowledge the student and say you will answer his/her question at the end of the lecture and then add "Please jot down your question to make sure neither of us forgets it when we come back to it." The student will write it down and the class knows you are going to come back to it and that you are not just brushing off the question.

having read thru several of the feedback re:raised hands.for me this is the best reply and goes along with my way of thinking and instructing. as long as it doesn't stray too far from the content of the lessons presented in the lesson plan

I agree with Asha. I think anything that allows active student involvement should be rewarded, even if the class is slowed. I feel learning is an active conversation between the student, the instructor, and the other students in the class, and the more the student is involved in that conversation, the better. Yes, it is annoying when we don't cover as much ground as we would like, but the fact that one student has questions, and the confidence to bring those questions to light means there are more students with the same issues who have had experience, where, perhaps, those questions were ignored or belittled that keeps them from sharing, and therefore learning.

So, yes, I, myself, have always been fine with the annoying "hand in the air" student. He or she is bringing student involvement into the lecture, and that can be a very good thing.

this is part of the problem in culianry arts students with diverse interest offten want to "hijack" the lecture to focuse more on what they are interested in

Hi Kevin,
Yes, this happens quite often with students. This is where the instructor has to really work and maintain control of the delivery of content. If the student succeeds in "highjacking" the lecture/demonstration for that day, that individual will continue to do so for the remainder of the course and that makes for a very looooooooong course for you and the other students.

I actually find that just saying "Scott, I'll get to you in a second, let me finish my thought" is a really easy way of getting hands to go down. Then, of course, the challenge is to remember to call on that student when you're done.

But, honestly, I just find it kind of rude to ignore raised hands. If we're all about learning, and we want the students engaged... it would seem like we should call on those who have their hands up. Even if they have to wait a minute or two. Granted, yes, I realize we only have so many minutes in a class, and so much material to cover, and it's good to leave students "wanting more"... but, I don't know that I could bring myself to ignore someone who was actively engaged in the discussion and had a question.

Just my thoughts,


I agree all the way. It is extremly rude to ignore a student who is wanting to participate. No matter how not so enlightened the student's comment may be. The students are there to interact and not just be preached to.

I do the same and tell them to hold on and always go back to them when I am finished with my thought. The students deserve our respect as we do from them.

I've also found that these types of raised hand situations also open up new areas of discussion... a new thread, related to, but not exactly the same as the original...which can be interesting

I liked the film on the hand raising. It provided some thought on good and bad out comes from picking that student with his hand up.

I do believed this is a great way to keep the student attention.And class being into the subject being studed.


I agree that a simple acknowledgement and then returning to a possable unanswered question is helpfull in keeping the lesson on plan without possable segway into sidline issues.

Hi Bruce,
What seems like a little thing to us can be a big thing to the students. We need to pause and try to "think" like a student once in a while to make sure we are meeting student needs like we should.

I confess to being stunned that we still use hand-raising. It's great room management and useful for rules of engagement to keep a class moving forward. But if that's the rule, it makes free and open interaction a little awkward. Much of the discussion in the lesson advocates open interaction. The two extremes were well defined...those trying to dwell too long on a topic and those making an effort to hijack the conversation. I find the comments about how to manipulate questions to keep on track, defer questions until later, or permit a brief excursion to satisfy a legitimate diversion are more useful.

Hello Asha,
I agree with you. Additionally, the student who raises their hand and is ignored (as suggested on the video) is now for sure not listening. The student is now focused on getting their question answered. It is my belief that if a student needs clarification or has a question you answer it. After all they are paying for their education and the student is not only a student but a customer.

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