Because lecture in the ORS setting is not an option, the following activities can be effectively used on the first day of class:
It may be beneficial for students in each class to have a short visit with the instructor before getting started on their work. We found a way to make this possible even with multiple courses in the same classroom. Our ORS courses are typically scheduled for two days a week. One class gets started by talking to the instructor, while the other class takes a short weekly quiz. The next class period, classes switch. Thus, each class has a weekly quiz, allowing the instructor to focus on one group in the beginning of each class.
An ideal ORS space provides some separation between students in different courses. Since most education spaces are not designed to accommodate the ORS set-up, some creativity may be required. For instance, using the adjacent hallway space or two adjacent study rooms works well.
Almost surprisingly, there have been very few complaints about distractions in the classroom. We use the following techniques to make sure that students stay on task and do not distract each other: