HowTo: Use black(white)-boards

There are some nice tips at Mother Tongue Annoyances on how to use whiteboards effectively. The fourth tip about ‘parking lots’ is new to me, and it sure sounds like a very useful practice:

The idea behind the ‘parking lot’ is that this is a corner of your whiteboard that you partition off with your trusty dry-erase marker for any student/attendee question(s) that you are unable to answer over the course of the session. You then commit to the questioner (and, by extension, to the entire gathering) to research the answer either during a break or after the presentation and report back to the appropriate party/parties.

The genius behind the ‘parking lot’ is plain: No unanswered audience questions are left ‘hanging in the breeze’; the competency of the speaker remains solid; if the question is answered in time, the knowledge level of both the speaker and the attendees is increased. And so forth.

Take a look!

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3 Responses to “HowTo: Use black(white)-boards”

  1. Megan Golding Says:

    This is a great tip. Thanks for sharing!

    I have done something similar, writing down outstanding questions or to-dos for myself on the side of the board, for quite some time. The part I like best is committing to the class that I’ll get back to them on it.

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Megan,

    You are welcome.

    I also found that often instructors forget to address studets’ questions when they postpone it to later sessions — for reasons of lack of time, and/or the lack of preparation by students/instructor/both. “Parking” would surely help in such cases, and make the experience better for both the instructor and the students.

  3. Engineering Materials: Home Assignment Says:

    […] Using black/white boards […]

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