How Research on Student Learning Explains the Effectiveness of Empirically Driven Classroom Activities

by Elise Piazza, Vision Science Recipient of the Teagle Foundation Award for Excellence in Enhancing Student Learning, 2014 Related Teaching Effectiveness Award essay: Achieving Widespread Participation through Evidence-Based Classroom Discourse As a GSI for Introduction to Cognitive Science, I developed several empirically driven activities to increase student participation by engaging Continue Reading >>

Developing Interactive Applets to Help Students Visualize Multivariable Calculus

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.

Problem Solving and the Random Number Generator

by Justin Hollenback, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Based on the mistakes the students were making, I felt that the example problems I presented weren’t conveying the material as well as I wanted. Students did not appear engaged or actively learning during lecture. In response, I developed a strategy … to make the process of working out example problems in class more interactive.

Fostering the Ability to Think Like an Experimenter in a Lecture Course

by Daniel Bliss, Molecular and Cell Biology (Home Department: Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute)
Their proficiency at internalizing and recalling textbook-level explanations had led them astray. My challenge, I realized, was to help them be able to switch into the thinking mode of an experimenter.

Breaking the Mathematical Language Barrier

by Alexander Diesl, Mathematics
The ability to write mathematical proofs is not a result of genius but rather of an understanding of the language of mathematics. Students think that they lack fundamental understanding when they in fact lack only the ability to translate their intuition into mathematically precise statements.