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Running In-Class SAIL Activities

When in an active learning classroom your role is that of a facilitator. Instead of providing students with all the answers, it is your job to give them the background and advice that they need to come up with answers on their own. Therefore, unless you are answering routine questions of procedure or clarification, you will likely want to answer student questions with guiding questions that help them think through the issues surrounding their own questions. Otherwise, if students know that you will give them the answers, then they will come to learn to rely on you as a source of answers instead of learning how to generate answers themselves.

Managing Group Dynamics

One of the challenging components of leading SAIL classes is facilitating productive group work. The following videos are based on stories from SAIL instructors. They are meant to provide a concrete way to think about how to handle various group dynamics.

This exercise is one used in SAIL TA Training. As a background to these videos, this document explains the content that the fictional students should have already learned and the two in-class problems the students are working on with their groups.

Fictional Scenario (PDF)

In the first three videos, the students are working on problem 1; in the last two, problem 2.

In all cases, consider what the instructor does well or poorly, how the TA guides the students (without giving the answer) and how well the TA is able to encourage and coach the students on working with each.