by Christiane Stachl, Chemistry Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 I was a graduate student instructor for Chemistry 4A in fall 2015, and I have to say that the general chemistry courses at Berkeley are anything but a joke. For example, Chem 4A is intended for chemistry majors with a strong Continue Reading >>
by Johann Koehler, Legal Studies (Home Department: Jurisprudence & Social Policy) Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 Writing rarely improves without feedback. But even the most carefully prepared feedback, if offered a certain way, may remain unheeded. Take, for example, a common course structure: students endeavor to produce a long, meticulously Continue Reading >>
by Eric Armstrong, Integrative Biology Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 In addition to providing the educational scaffolding necessary for life-long learning, we as instructors face an equally important challenge in preparing interested students for professional careers in our fields. In biology, the ability to analyze and visualize data is a Continue Reading >>
Be clear about what “review” and “revise” mean, and give your students in-class practice with essay drafts.
GSIs sometimes see student papers that are dense with linguistic errors or lack basic rhetorical structures. Here are some effective ways to address the problems while also protecting your time.
by Julie Wesp, Anthropology
I wanted to create an environment that would stimulate higher-order learning and instill a deeper understanding and organization of the information. Answering the kind of questions the students were asking did not help them to piece together the parts into a whole; it only insinuated that repetitive memorization was the key to success. In an effort to break this cycle, during the next section I simply stopped answering them.
by Jeff Benca, Integrative Biology
During the in-class debate, we focused on the question “What caused earth’s greatest mass extinction?” … It was truly inspiring for me to hear both discussion sections of the class spend 1.5 hours actively … debating which arguments held most credence by analyzing the approaches of the papers, considering the expertise of the authors, and applying trends in the fossil record covered in previous lectures.
by Sarah Mangin, English
We spent a few minutes venting about our most memorable Kafkaesque ordeals, from S.A.T. testing nightmares to transcript requests … By cultivating a collaborative environment for thinking about literary allusiveness, our class found opportunities to make these references first familiar and then potent.
by Jennifer Johnson, Linguistics (Home Department: Education)
I needed to develop in-class peer review and self review activities that assist students in exploring, understanding, and contesting feedback. … How do I help students develop metacognitive skills — in other words, reflect on their reflections?
by Rebecca Elliott, Sociology
In deference to the time they put into writing their exams, I spend considerable time writing up my reactions. I provide substantive feedback in the form of questions and comments, in both marginal notes and in a narrative paragraph…[but] how could I ensure that my students read, reflected, and internalized my feedback in a way that would improve their skills and enhance their learning?