In my intro physics course, we have many table-size whiteboards for students to work on, but the room I’m in also has 10 large whiteboards on the walls. Today, I told students to stop using the portable whiteboards and to start doing problems on wall boards. This did several amazing things.
- It allowed me to easily see from across the room whether or not groups had simply gotten stuck or were making progress.
- It allowed all the students in a group to have access to the board without anyone having to look upside down or become boxed out.
- It provide students much more space to write and draw, which dramatically boosted organization and clarity of their work.
- It helped me not hover over students when I came around, lending more agency and authority in their direction.