How to Break the Ice in Your New Course [VIDEO]

Teaching Hacks, Teaching Methods
Reading Time: < 1 minute

What do polar bears and great teachers have in common? They know how to break the ice!

This age-old joke is the perfect thought starter for getting students engaged and communicating in your classroom—especially if you’re kicking off a new semester or course.

 Professor Shawn Orr of Ashland University is a big fan of ice breakers and topic starters, and uses them to socialize, stimulate and prime students for success. 

“Polar bears break the ice to survive; teachers break the ice to thrive.” – Shawn Orr

In the clip above, you can learn more about Shawn’s breakdown on social ice breakers—just one of the topic-starter types she uses in her own courses.

When you’ve decided to use them in your own course, Shawn suggests the following tips as a reminder for how to use ice breakers effectively:

  • Understand Your Group
  • Relax
  • Get Involved
  • Consider Space
  • Debrief

For more ice breaker tips and tricks that can help you engage students from the start, watch Shawn’s full webinar.