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Catchbox Instructional Uses
Catchbox is a throwable foam box with a microphone inside. 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.
Catchbox can also be used by students reporting back the results of a group discussion or a Think-Pair-Share activity.
When passed down a row, or even tossed at random, Catchbox can encourage students who don’t usually contribute to do so. The security of being the clearly designated speaker, and the boost of not needing to project to be heard can encourage even shy students to speak.
If you’ve never used Catchbox before, please have a look at the Catchbox FAQ and schedule a consultation with the LSA Learning and Teaching Consultants. They can help you plan activities, and think about how to best employ your instructional team to support them.
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 creative suggestions. You might give out bonus points for especially good answers, but don’t penalize students for wrong answers — that will discourage participation!
If you’d like assistance planning how best to use Catchbox in your course, please feel free to request a consultation with the LSA Learning and Teaching Consultants.
Contact the Technical Assistance Group
Email: LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu, asking for TAG
To request an evaluation of whether Catchbox can be installed in a space that does not currently have it, please contact LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu. Such a request involves several different teams, and may take some time to evaluate.