Teaching on Friday late afternoon - strategies?

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Stick and carrot, as others have said. Make them do in-class activities (stuff that is simple to grade pass/fail or for a couple of points). Quiz them briefly at changing points in the class so they don't arrive late or leave early. Also get them doing presentations and so on. Have a few classes every so often when you show a movie clip or play a game that engages with the course material in some way.

One other weird thing: telling students that they are working hard and doing a great job does really help motivate them.

Thanks for everyone's advice. As I said, I'm not in the US, so it's a bit of a different situation than you might be used to. This is the only section and with all the students taking the class (about 20). I have no choice about the timetable.

I wonder if breaking the session into two would work: first half= quiz & serious discussion about the readings; second half = active and occasionally a bit quacky - i.e. getting students to move around the room with different activities on each table, role-play of historical situations etc. Would this work in keeping their motivation up for the last hour?

oddlyodd, sounds good. I have taught outside the US as well as in it, and one of the things most common with students all over the world is that they now tend to like "activities" in the form of things to physically do.


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