Session introductions

In every class, have a group of students prepare an introduction. Based on the suggested course materials, students are free to come up with a ‘trailer’ for the session of that week, using examples and/or cases that they feel would provide an illustration of the subject matter.

This is a handy stepping stone for helping (guest) lecturers start the session, because it gauges whether the students understand the course material and it promotes a proactive attitude among them.

Activity goal
Activate prior knowledge | Brainstorm | Exchange knowledge
In class
Hybrid | Offline | Online
< 10 minutes
Group size
Small | Medium

MS Teams, Zoom

Step 1

Divide the students into small groups. Each group will have its turn to provide a session introduction. Make sure that each group has one turn to provide a trailer.

Step 2

Use the first lecture to go over the assignment with the students: 

  • Make a schedule containing the timetable and an overview of the study materials (literature/articles/other materials) that the groups are required to use in their trailer. 
  • Prepare an explanation of what your expectations are. For example, the objective could be that students acquire a good understanding of the literature and illustrate the theory using real-life examples. And inform them that the maximum length of the introductions is 10 minutes.
  • Tell the students to use their creativity and that they are free to choose the manner in which they will give their presentation. For example, instead of a brief presentation, students could make a short video, or play a game with the other students.
  • Tell the students how they will receive feedback on the introductions.

Step 3

Start each lecture with an introduction from one of the student groups.

Step 4

Use the session-introduction to start interacting with the group, ask others for a response, ask questions and refer to it in the follow-up to the session. 

Step 5

Give the students feedback on their contribution. 

This teaching method has been added to teachEUR by ESHCC lecturer Julian Schaap.

Example and experiences

  • An example of one of his sessions in which students gave an introduction was a session in the popular music minor course. To introduce the course material, the students first discussed a few recent tracks that were used during Black Lives Matter protests. They then discussed the literature on the politicisation of music genres. 
  • Lecturer Julian Schaap states that using session introductions added a high degree of diversity to the lectures. Furthermore, this also ensured that at least part of the group had mastered the material, allowing class discussions to easily materialise and proceed smoothly. At the end, the guest lecturer gave the students the feeling that their contribution was interesting and taken seriously.

Would you like more information from the lecturer who added this teaching method? Then please contact Julian Schaap

Consider the tools and materials mentioned here as suggestions. In many cases it’s possible to use alternative tools. Please turn to the Learning & Innovation team of your faculty (EUR or Erasmus MC) first to see which online and offline tools are available and how to apply them. 

MS Teams, Zoom

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