by Mercedes Taylor, Chemistry Recipient of the Teagle Foundation Award for Excellence in Enhancing Student Learning, 2016 Related Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay: Overcoming Emotional Reactions to Chemical Reactions Flanked by classmates busily shaking test tubes and recording notes, a student stares motionlessly at her own test tube, slumped in despair. Continue Reading >>
by Shelly Steward, Sociology Recipient of the Teagle Foundation Award for Excellence in Enhancing Student Learning, 2015 Related Teaching Effectiveness Award essay: Integrating Sociology into Students’ Lives through Twitter In order to make theory a way of understanding the world, students need to be reminded of it outside class. While Continue Reading >>
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.
by Auyon Siddiq, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
While the content in a typical operations research course is usually technical, the field itself is actually quite practical… I viewed it as part of my job to help convey the idea that the seemingly abstract methods taught in class could in fact have a significant positive impact on how decisions are made in a wide variety of domains.
by Britney Kitamata-Wong, Integrative Biology (Home Department: Optometry)
I approached my teaching this second time around from a more clinical perspective, pulling from my patient-care experiences in my optometry clinical rotations. … I polled the class to gauge their interests and confirmed that many of the students were interested in pursuing careers in a medical or health-related field. I structured each of my lectures in a case presentation format starting with patient information, initial signs and symptoms, and applicable visuals.
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.
by Caroline Delaire, Civil and Environmental Engineering
I quickly realized that the class generated a lot of anxiety. Students, undergraduate and graduate alike, were surprised and challenged by the quantity of equations and algebra involved in lectures and homeworks. I helped them the best I could with solving problem sets, but at the same time I started to understand that by focusing on algebra and equations students were at risk of missing the point of the class: gaining practical knowledge about water chemistry. They were simply not developing the intuition that would help them address real world environmental issues!
by Thunwa Theerakarn, Mathematics
For many concepts in this subject, having geometric intuition is very helpful for a better understanding. However, many students struggle to visualize these concepts because they cannot actually “see” them…To help students develop geometric thinking, I used Mathematica to create interactive applets that can display multiple three-dimensional graphics at the same time and can overlay extra information on those graphics.
by Jordan Axelson, Chemistry
During 2012, I served as head GSI for both first and second semesters of organic chemistry (Chemistry 3A and 3B). Despite the utility of resonance in solving problems presented during these classes, I found that at the end of Chem 3B, many students still struggled to understand and apply resonance…To alleviate this challenge, I built a kit that included a stainless steel “whiteboard,” dry-erase markers, and colored magnetic pieces meant to represent a single lobe of a p-orbital.
by Elise Piazza, Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies (Home Department: Vision Science)
On my first day as a graduate student instructor for Introduction to Cognitive Science, I noticed that participation was limited to a few students, while the rest sat silently, either intimidated or bored…As an experimental psychologist, I decided to introduce my scientific approach to teaching by turning our discussion section into an experiment.