Making it Matter: Connecting Theory to Reality in Economics

by Jonathan Schellenberg, Economics Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 In the social sciences, we seek to understand all types of human behaviors. Economics, my sub- discipline, formalizes these actions with mathematical models, both to reduce the complexity of the world and to highlight the rules that we believe govern human Continue Reading >>

Why Am I Doing What I Am Doing?

by Varsha Desai, Chemistry Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 Experiments in chemistry laboratories often have complex protocols where students perform several steps sequentially to obtain a “correct” product. Seemingly small mistakes can result in a domino effect that leads to inconclusive end results. For example, students forget to “mix” a Continue Reading >>

Improving Board Work with Colors

by Yi-Chuan Lu, Physics Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 Physics is a subject that describes nature by using precise mathematical language. When we teach physics, it is inevitable to prove equations in addition to explaining the physical phenomena, but it is also the time when students get frustrated. For example, Continue Reading >>

Asking Effective Questions

Elicit thought and reflection by asking effective questions when you interact with students during lab.

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.

Bridging Mathematical Models and Managerial Decisions

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.

A Clinical Approach to Human Anatomy

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.

Becoming Your Own Dictionary: Increasing Participation and Communicative Confidence through Semiotic Brainstorming

by Emily A. Hellmich, French (Home Department: Education)
I realized that while my students did have passionate opinions as well as a desire to communicate them, they hesitated: not knowing one specific word represented an insurmountable barrier to them that shut down communication and sent them running to a more expert resource… I led the students in the creation of a “semiotic brainstorm” meant to show them not only just how much French they already knew but also to detail, step-by-step, one way to access this knowledge in communication.