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Physically-Distanced Classroom Activities :: Teaching in Physically-Distanced Learning Spaces

Teaching in a physically-distanced learning space

As part of the Smart Restart plan, academic instruction on campus will take place with a mix of both in-person and remote courses this fall. To minimize the risk to faculty, staff, and students, the university will rely on physical distancing in campus classrooms. For students taking in-person classes, learning spaces will be redesigned to ensure safe distancing between students. These changes present a challenge to traditional active learning approaches used on campus. These resources present guidance on ways of adjusting the facilitation of activities given the changes in space and student interaction guidelines. These resources are organized around four types of learning activities that support:

Critical ThinkingDiscussionsPrior KnowledgeProblem Solving
Analytic MemoBuzz GroupBackground Knowledge ProbeAnalytic Team
Categorizing GridRound RobinEmpty OutlinesCase Studies
Content, Form, & FunctionTalking ChipsFocused ListingGroup Investigations
Defining FeaturesThink/Pair/ShareMemory MatrixSend-A-Problem
Pro and Con GridThree-Step InterviewMinute Paper | Muddiest PointStructured Problem-Solving
Student-Defined QuestionsFishbowl Discussion
Think-Aloud Pair Problem-Solving

Small-Group Discussions


These activities are taken from the books Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook For College Teachers by Thomas Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, and Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty by Elizabeth F. Barkley, Claire Howell Major, and K. Patricia Cross — presents activities you can use to address specific learning outcomes. Each approach includes a basic description and overview of its outcomes, along with steps to guide its use in your course. Each technique in this resource was selected based on three criteria: ease of design, ease of implementation, and time needed to respond to activity.

  • Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 159-180.
  • Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 152.

Topics Map > Active Learning > Physically-Distanced Classroom Activities
Results: 1-20 of 35
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No.Document TitleIDUpdatedHits
1 Creating a Classroom Backchannel for Student Questions Using Top Hat
2 Using Top Hat Discussion Questions in Classrooms
3 Creating a Classroom Backchannel for Student Questions Using Piazza
4 Using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Breakout Rooms
5 Sharing a Google Doc Template for Students in Classrooms
6 Creating a Google Forms to Solicit Student Reflections in Classrooms
7 Using Google Docs Chat Feature to Collaborate in Classrooms
8 Walkthrough for Physically-Distanced Learning Spaces
9 Memory Matrix
10 Background Knowledge Probe
11 Focused Listing
12 Student-Defined Questions
13 Content, Form, and Function Outlines
14 Categorizing Grid
15 Pro and Con Grid
16 Defining Features Matrix
17 Round Robin
18 Using the Bietrun Wireless Headset Microphone (or alternative brand) with the ION Arena Portable Speaker
19 Using the PGA31 Headset Microphone with an AV presentation system
20 Empty Outlines

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