1. State the day’s topic to the students. Write on the board three quotations that don’t seem to be related to one another and ask not just how they are related to each other, but how they are related to the days topic. This activity gets students to think analytically and critically.
2. Put 3 questions on the board for students to answer. Have students choose to answer one of the three questions. The questions should not be too difficult, yet challenging enough that the keener in the class doesn’t shout out the answer. Ask the students to introduce themselves to 3 new people and ask them what they think the answer to their chosen question is. Students may have to answer the same question 3 times, or have to formulate an answer for 2 or 3 different questions. Have the students write down each student's name and the answer they received. Also, have them write down their own name and an answer to the question. Then have the students rate each student's answer on a scale of five, where 1 means not accurate, and 5 means accurate. Have the students submit the assignment. You don’t have to mark the assignment, but it is a great way for you as a teacher to evaluate what level of understanding your students have regarding your course. It helps instructors learn names of students, and helps students build peer relations in the course.
3. Towards the end of class, put up a cartoon or photo related to the topic you are going to cover in the next class. Ask students to create captions that help to explain what the next classes topic will be. Post the cartoon in the LMS as well within a discussion forum. Let students submit their captions to the discussion forum. Students can then comment on other captions. Be sure to state or post the rules of discussion to the students. This helps build up peer relations as well as allows students to learn the proper way to provide peer feedback.
4. Ask students to submit five online resources that can help research topics related to the content of your course. Make sure the students are ready to explain why they chose the resources they did. Discuss as a group why or why not each resource is appropriate. This helps students learn to critically evaluate resources, and provides them with a list of learning resources.
5. Create a short presentation(no more than 10 minutes) for the first day of class in which you provide students with some false facts. Continue with the presentation until a student stops you to ask if those facts are indeed correct. If no one stops you, finish the presentation. If the students are frantically taking notes, let them continue. If they ask you to skip back a slide so they can write something down, accommodate them. Once you are done, if no students have stopped you, ask them to then identify everything that was a myth or misconstrued fact in your presentation. Complete this portion as a group. If a student does stop you and question you, have a small prize or reward ready for them. They are being rewarded for stopping to think critically about the knowledge that is being given to them.