The last post of Marcus made me think about the fact that some readers might have little or no experience with different teaching environments and might be eager to learn about them (by the way, I am also eager to learn about different schemes, so please tell me about them in the comments). Thus, here are some experiences from Europe (I have worked for 5+ years in Italy and Austria-Germany, and for shorter periods in France or UK).
I currently work in Austria, where (as in Germany) we distinguish different types of classes, each of which is in turn subdivided according to BA and MA+PhD. Thus, you can teach an MA Vorlesung or a BA one and the level of students will necessarily impact on your teaching habits.
1. One can teach a Vorlesung, which is a frontal lesson in which students are not expected to prepare at all. Typically, the professor speaks (for 90') and they take notes until the final examination at the end of the semester. This is challenging, since I usually build on the material I have been presenting the previous time(s), and if no one has rehearsed, it is going to be hard on them. Thus, I add initial short summaries of what has been said previously and will be needed for the present class. It is usually well-accepted, but it is sometimes hard to find a balance and not become boring, especially since one could have many students and monitor them is, thus, more of a challenge.
2. One can teach a Übung, which is a "hands-on" type of class, probably more similar to what Marcus describes in the post which inspired the present one. Here it is easy to involve students, who are typically a small group (less than 20). If I work on texts in a foreign language, I will read them in the original language together with the students, asking them to take turns to translate and interpret a text-passage each. It is annoying to be unable to translate (or comment, in case of students who do not know the original language and will be only asked to comment on someone else's translation) and this tends to make students be keen to prepare. If all texts examined are in German or English, I will ask challenging questions. Something which often works is the following: I prepare a presentation with short quotations and ask them to identify their authors. The real name of the author is not important, but they have to recognise her "school" (is she a utilitarian? a consequentialist? and so on).
3. One can teach a Proseminar or a Seminar (according to the BA or MA+PhD distinction), which is an advanced class (not for students in their first semesters) in which students are expected to prepare a lot and learn how to work with secondary sources. They will have to prepare one or more short papers, deliver presentations in the class, discuss the others' presentations and so on. Here, again, it is essential that students prepare ---though I always try to have a plan B in case the one who should have delivered a presentation turns ill or the like.