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Break It Up! - Strategies to "break up" the lecture


The following list includes brief yet related practical demonstrations, exercises, games, video clips, and short writing exercises used by veteran educators to enhance lectures to better engage students and stimulate active learning.


  1. Use case studies to provide students with practical applications of the knowledge they gain from lecture.
  2. Link two or three key concepts together with concept mapping.  Students working alone or in pairs create visual representations of models, ideas, and the relationships between concept.
  3. Games such as jeopardy and crossword puzzles can be adapted to course material and used for review, for assignments, or for exams.
  4. Present students with paradoxes involving pertinent concept(s). Wrestling with a solution promotes the building of critical skills needed to properly evaluate ideas and theories.
  5. Invite students to Stump the Professor to promote reading and attendance in hopes of seeing the prof stumped.
  6. Play tag with a purpose to illustrate the use and/or depletion of resources.
  7. Showing video clips bring training and teaching to life and can be used to help emphasize ideas and lessons, and promote discussion.
  8. Encourage active participation through written recall. Rather than asking individual students questions, all students must provide a written response to a posed, content-based question.


Find more ideas to engage students at Engaging Students.

Break It Up! bibliography

 The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) encourages educators' professional development in all stages of their careers and supports educators in order to create excellent learning environments for students.  For assistance in implementing active learning strategies in your class, or to share your ideas with others, feel free to call or stop by CETL in OL1142.

 CETL • Old Library 1142 • University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Eau Claire WI 54702-4004
Phone: 715-836-2385 •