Dueling Whiteboards

A colleague of mine came up with an awesome take on whiteboarding that lives in the space between whiteboard making and whiteboard presenting. Finding the sweet spot in this regard is sometimes tough, since whole class discussions of whiteboards can often either a) encourage some students to keep quiet, assuming that others are going to keep the conversation going, or b) take too long to get to every board that was made. This technique takes on both, and it worked really nicely for me today when I tried it for the first time.

The idea is simple… Make an even number of whiteboarding groups, and assign each of them one of two problems. Give them a bit of time for whiteboarding (with ##mistakes if possible!), then pair up the groups. Instead of presenting to the whole class, they’ll just present to the other group. Then, after all mistakes have been cleared, the other group presents.

In the past, I’ve also had some success with whiteboarding one problem on multiple boards around the room, but this can feel a little stagnant, and we only see one problem! This “dueling whiteboards” technique is much more dynamic, and more effectively convinces everyone in both groups that their participation and careful thinking is absolutely necessary!

##whiteboarding ##physicsfirst

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