A "One-Minute Message" Engages All Students

Research Evidence                       

Connecting with students on a personal level is the best way to:

  1. Keep them engaged in class
  2. Encourage interest in engineering as a major
  3. Increase your "approachability" quotient
  4. Improve your course evaluations

Since faculty time is so limited, a quick and effective way to connect with students is to start each class with a one-minute message.

What To Do And Why It Works

Most students lack understanding of how concepts taught in the classroom relate with real-world problems and solutions. In addition, many students have a narrow view of what engineers actually do and what professors do when they are not teaching. A one-minute message can communicate this information effectively. Here are some examples:

  • Hand out an article about a real-world problem that connects with the topic you are covering in class.
  • Discuss a part of your research—what you've learned or the current problem you're investigating.
  • Mention a conference you're attending or a paper you are giving.
  • Share something about your personal life—such as a hobby, TV show or book you're enjoying.
  • Have students bring in a "Did You Know" article or news clipping about an engineering solution or discovery that makes a difference in people's lives.

Using a one-minute message not only increases student engagement and increases your approachability quotient, it's a time-effective way to connect. Try it!