At a Glance

Discipline

  • Health Sciences

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP

Course

  • Anatomy

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Presenting

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Whiteboards or interactive whiteboards
  • Poll everywhere

Class size

  • Small (20-49)

Time

Single class period (< 90 mins)

Overview

Prior to the activity, students are assigned a reading to give them the needed knowledge for the activity. This reading is summarized by the instructor before the activity begins.

Individually, students formulate a physiological strength and a weakness on a piece of paper. The paper is then crumpled and thrown at the instructor (Snowballing). The instructor assigns groups of 4-6, distributing the "Snowballs" among the groups.

Working as groups, the students propose solutions to the weaknesses identified in the snowballs, then write the issues and their corresponding solutions on a whiteboard. They select one, and present their solution for overcoming ...

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Prior to the activity, students are assigned a reading to give them the needed knowledge for the activity. This reading is summarized by the instructor before the activity begins.

Individually, students formulate a physiological strength and a weakness on a piece of paper. The paper is then crumpled and thrown at the instructor (Snowballing). The instructor assigns groups of 4-6, distributing the "Snowballs" among the groups.

Working as groups, the students propose solutions to the weaknesses identified in the snowballs, then write the issues and their corresponding solutions on a whiteboard. They select one, and present their solution for overcoming it to the class.

This activity is followed by an interactive lecture in which students are required to answer questions, which can itself be followed either by an online interactive game or a peer-instruction activity employing Poll Everywhere.

Read Less -

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students learn to use precise terminology when discussing physiology and anatomy.
  • Students learn to identify strengths and weaknesses, and work towards solutions to weaknesses.

Workflow & Materials

Activity Workflow

Muscle Snowballs

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Contributor's Notes

Tim Miller
Tim Miller

Dawson College, Montreal, QC

Benefits

Students are exposed to “publication” of their knowledge on the board and are given the opportunity to peer review another group’s work. Students must come to a consensus. Because each group presents their findings, students can be exposed to more examples in the time that it takes them to work through one.

Students become familiar with the roles of muscles, such as agonist, antagonist, synergist, and analyze the roles of these muscles in action.

Challenges

Different groups go at a different pace. This complicates orchestration. If one group is too far ahead, assistance can be provided to the teams that are lagging behind without hindering the group learning process. If one team is only slightly ahead, they can be provided with additional questions or asked to revisit what they have done.

Tips

Visit each group during this activity. Be sure to walk around and listen to the conversations going on. Keep taking note of what you overhear or conversations you have with students. These can be brought up in the consolidation or when you summarize information. The key is to be aware of the discussions. In some cases you may have to give an answer or guide someone a little more.

It can also be useful to have back up layers of tasks if ever students are widespread in where they are.

Instructors should have a visual of the queues/explanations of the tasks. This should be embedded into the material provided to students and pointed out. This way, if students are moving ahead they can refer to this and keep moving on, rather than having to interrupt the activity to say what the next step is.

An inventory of potential scaffolds and additional materials for students who move too far ahead can also be useful. Having tasks that add to what the students are doing helps ensure you maximize your time.

Applied Strategies

  1. 1
    Snowball
  2. 2
    Peer Instruction

Feedback

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