Teaching resource: Course openers and energizers

Course openers (aka ice-breakers) and energizers are short interactive activities that ensure you and your learners will make the most of every learning experience. Learning is social, and these activities will give you and your learners the opportunity to make those connections that will deepen and extend the course experience. Course openers and energizers will:

  1. Give learners the opportunity to express their expectations.
  2. Allow participants to build their network and make personal and professional connections.
  3. Build a sense of community and co-contributors to the learning experience.
  4. Set the expectation for learners that their participation is part of the learning experience.
  5. Help you and learners remember other participants’ names.
  6. Creates opportunities to think differently and challenge assumptions.
  7. Spark energy into the session for adult learners who may be coming to the learning experience at the end of a busy day.

Plan a course openers for your first class, webinar or opening discussion board. Schedule energizers throughout the course with at least one every two or three sessions. Avoid the temptation to think that you “can’t spare the time” for these. Investing in social connections with course-openers and energizers will make the rest of the teaching experience much more effective and much easier for you as the instructor.

Please see the uploaded attachment for helpful ideas from the School's Learning Innovation team.

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