The First Five Minutes of Your University Class

The first 5 minutes of a university class is very much like the first sentence of a novel. If you can’t grab and hold their attention with your opening, you are likely to lose them.

The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests some ways to start your first 5-minutes of every class, including:

  1. Opening with a question or two that you’ll revisit at the end of the class to help reinforce the learning they’re achieving each and every class
  2. Ask what they learned last time for retrieval practice that encourages knowledge retention
  3. Reactivate what they learned in previous classes by asking what they know about the subject matter
  4. Have students write down the responses to the previous three activities to start each class

The takeaway here? Utilize the first few minutes of your class time intentionally to get students engaged and checked-in before they check out.


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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.