Week 7 – Student Engagement

Learning Goal: To find ways to increase retention in students and to find classroom designs that enhance retention and engagement.

Link: http://www.edutopia.org/rearrange-desks

Specific Resource:

“Wankmuller says seating arrangements should reflect the type of activity going on. “Students need to know that different things are expected of them based upon where they are sitting. They should have a different mind-set [for each area].”

So, he explains, in the lab and cooperative area, they should be talking together and figuring things out. When they’re arrayed in more traditional rows of front-facing desks or chairs, they should raise their hands when they want to ask or answer questions.”


This week the focus was to find ways to engage students during lectures to increase retention. This particular resource was excellent in explaining why having different desk arrangements in the classroom can do just this. A big part of this resource that caught my eye was when the author wrote “seating arrangements should reflect the type of activity going on”. This is excellent as if you want the students doing collaborative work they shouldn’t be in rows. Instead their desks should be arranged so that they can easily collaborate with their peers. If the students should be focusing on lecture, every student should be able to equally see the teacher and the board (or the screen/overhead). During lecture you would also want to discourage talking as this is a distraction and shows students are not engaged, so a different desk arrangement would be beneficial in retention and engagement. To become a better teacher, I would find a way to quickly and easily rearrange desks throughout the day that would reflect the activity they are doing, such as listening to the teacher during lecture or completing a task.

– Katrina


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