Help Them Help Themselves!

by Nicholas Knight, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
I knew it would be completely infeasible to teach half of the class how to program during office hours or via a forum. So for the first homework, I designed teams that each had a member with computer programming experience. As a result, every team completed the assignment, and the collaborative write-up ensured that each team member understood the material, even if one team member did the majority of the programming. I was explicit with the class about our strategy to combine programmers and non-programmers.

The Challenges of Teaching in the Summer Session

by Conrad Hengesbach, Mathematics
The variety of the students’ backgrounds meant that everybody brought different prerequisites to the table, especially when it came to their training in first-semester calculus… I needed a mechanism to ensure that towards the end of the first week everybody was on the same boat.

Online Chat

An example of using the bSpace chat room tool.

TALC: Individualized Assistance through Collaborative Learning

by John Johnson, Astronomy
As the Head GSI for Astronomy 10 last fall, I was challenged with administering effective, individualized assistance to the students who needed it most. The solution I developed is The Astronomy Learning Center (TALC). TALC uses collaborative learning as an alternative to traditional office hours…[and] uses the philosophy that students learn better by doing than just by hearing or seeing.