Constructing Live Knowledge from Dead Civilizations

by Eduardo A. Escobar, Near Eastern Studies Recipient of the Teagle Foundation Award for Excellence in Enhancing Student Learning, 2016 Related Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay: Live Digital Translation for Dead Languages Benno Landsberger, one of the founders of modern Cuneiform Studies, believed that to examine a cuneiform tablet from ancient Continue Reading >>

Building a Better Review Session through Active Learning

by Beatriz Brando, Chemistry (Home Department: Education) Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 Chemistry 1AL, General Chemistry Lab for non-majors, is generally structured such that students attend a weekly one-hour lab lecture, a four-hour lab, and have the option to attend office hours with GSIs or a review session with the Continue Reading >>

Classroom Activities

Students learn best when actively engaged in learning tasks, and there are many ways to incorporate active learning techniques into your class.

Encouraging Participation

Most instructors worry that students will not speak up in class. By helping students better prepare for section, instructors can ensure more frequent class participation.

Integrating Sociology into Students’ Lives through Twitter

by Shelly Steward, Sociology
To make theory a way of seeing and understanding the world, [students] needed to be reminded of it outside of lectures, sections, and assignments. How could I insert sociological ideas into students’ everyday lives beyond the classroom? My strategy to address this problem was to create a course Twitter account.

The Tipping Point: Encouraging Inclusive Participation Through Productive Failure in a Highly Diverse Student Setting

by Sandile Hlatshwayo, Economics
There are several benefits to this warm-up approach. Primarily… students who must first attempt to solve problems with very little instruction tend to learn the concepts better once they are given formal instruction. Second, students experience less fear over offering incorrect answers as making public errors becomes a normalized part of the classroom experience. Finally, and centrally, students that tend to be non-participators participate…

Sketching Social Theory Collectively

by Chris Herring, Sociology
While most professors have converted to Power Point, sociology professor Michael Burawoy remains wedded to the blackboard and diagrams relentlessly… [A] primary task became figuring out a way to get my students to take these illustrations as the starting point for discussion rather than the end-point.

What Is It to Truly ‘See’ and How to Deal with the Unseen

By Alexandra Courtois de Vicose, History of Art
When confronted with a Monet water landscape last spring and asked, “What do you see?” [my students] rightly answered, “A boat.” “You understand this shape as a boat because, culturally, you know what a boat looks like. Keep in mind, however, this is but an amalgamation of pigment on a two-dimensional surface. So, really, what do you see?”

Starting with Art for the First Time

Elaine Yau, History of Art
I have often noted that students who have never had an art history course can be overwhelmed by a commonplace assumption that artistic “masterpieces” are self-evidently great. This point of departure usually results in hackneyed discussions about beauty, perfection, or “pinnacles of civilization.” I wanted my first writing assignment to provide a structured, accessible process for formal analysis that would equip students with a vocabulary from which to build their own interpretations confidently — to treat paintings as primary sources from a moment in history.