R&C Workshop Added to Fall Series

Researchers in college composition and second-language acquisition have a lot to say about correction and feedback strategies on student papers, especially when improvement of student writing skills is the dominant objective. In this workshop, GSIs will explore some of the research and, using samples of student writing, work on feedback strategies that Continue Reading >>

Highlights from the Spring 2016 Teaching Conference

The Spring 2016 Teaching Conference provided an orientation for graduate students new to the GSI role. Discipline-Cluster (D-C) workshops led by experienced GSIs addressed pressing questions about getting started as a GSI. The afternoon featured a performance by Berkeley Interactive Theater, which led to a discussion of how GSIs in their role as teachers Continue Reading >>

Creating Discussion Guidelines

Crafting discussion guidelines with your students at the start of the semester gives them a stake in maintaining a respectful and productive climate in the class.

Interdisciplinary Team Peer-to-Peer Learning with Guided Inquiry

by Dwight Springthorpe, Integrative Biology
Students come from many backgrounds, including biology, engineering, and physics, and range from second-year undergraduates to Ph.D. candidates.… I addressed this difficulty with carefully structured group problem solving during discussion sections.… Since the problem sets drew on all the group’s skills, students would find themselves alternating between teaching and learning roles.

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…

A People’s History of the English Language: Dialect Communities

by Matthew Sergi, English
Composition students tend to approach punctuation, grammar, usage, and spelling standards through unquestioning (and usually futile) rote memorization…In my R1B section, I combined Howard Zinn’s People’s History techniques with a traditional History of the English Language syllabus, demonstrating to my students that the rules of good English have always been, and are still, changing and subject to conflict, politics, and urgent debate.

Putting the Text Back in Text Book

by Chantelle Warner, German
I hope to make it clear to students that it is not enough to dismiss the textbook as biased, but they must realize that authorship is always somehow biased in that it involves making choices…When they are faced with the task of trying to do a better job than the textbook does, students realize firsthand how difficult the task of cultural representation is.

Helping Students Understand Prejudice

by Helen Boucher, Psychology
I felt that any discussion of culture and ethnicity had to include an understanding of the prejudice and discrimination that can occur as a result of them. Discussing these topics is understandably difficult, however, and what usually happens is that students clam up and won’t participate, usually out of embarrassment and fear of offending other students. I tried to solve this problem in a somewhat controversial way.