Catchbox Throwable Mics can be a fun way to encourage student participation in a classroom. Instructional techniques where students toss a ball to indicate who is speaking are very common in small, discussion based classrooms - similarly the foam Catchbox acts as a moderation and motivation tool for the students. Having discussions in a large instructional space always comes with challenges, such as making sure only one person is talking at a time, and of course the need for both you and the other students to be able to hear what students around the room are trying to say. Adding a mic, or even multiple mics in a large auditorium, helps address these issues.
What kinds of activities do people do with Catchboxes? Catchboxes can help students engage with the class through a varaiety of of activities:
- General class wide discussion of a case of a problem
- Reporting back to the class from group work, or Think-Pair-Share activities.
- We have installed them in pairs - you can set up a debate!
- Popcorn - ask a series of smaller questions, so students can pass it down a row or around the room to one another, and everyone gets a chance.
- Random toss - trying to get responses from more than “the usual suspects”? Toss it out randomly and see who answers.
Remember, students can be nervous about addressing the entire classroom - make sure you give them adequate time to prepare or think about the question, and be supportive of students making quick or or creative suggestions. You might give out bonus points, but don’t penalize them for wrong answers - that will discourage participation!
Comprehensive Guide for using Catchboxes in UM LSA.