Puzzle Pieces: Classes are sectioned into different teams, each with a separate goal to accomplish during the period. At the end of planning, the teams come back together and teach the other teams about the topic they researched. Another option is to remix the teams by including one “expert” on a different topic within each team, who then has to teach his or her new group. When students know they will be responsible for teaching their friends, they are more likely to go into greater depth in their own research.

Pop Culture Statistics: Instead of using abstract numbers to interest students in lectures, switch word problems with current events. For example, illustrate a math concept with a topic currently popular, such as, “What percentage of the time do Jersey Shore cast members spend at the gym?” Students will respond more enthusiastically when presented with a topic they identify with, rather than generalized ideas.

Yee is currently working on assembling a list of interactive techniques geared toward online instruction.

“If you’re teaching in a fully electronic environment and you don’t see the students face to face, you have to think about how does the practice translate to not only a digital environment, but an asynchronous environment where they have to do it at different times,” he said.