by Mercedes Taylor, Chemistry Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 The student pulled her test tube out of the ice bucket for the tenth time, then slumped in despair at the sight of the clear liquid. She shoved the sample back into the ice and put her head in her hands. Continue Reading >>
Elicit thought and reflection by asking effective questions when you interact with students during lab.
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…
by Elise Piazza, Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies (Home Department: Vision Science)
On my first day as a graduate student instructor for Introduction to Cognitive Science, I noticed that participation was limited to a few students, while the rest sat silently, either intimidated or bored…As an experimental psychologist, I decided to introduce my scientific approach to teaching by turning our discussion section into an experiment.
by Ashley Leyba, History
Over time it became clear to me that, more often than not, the discussions were a showcase of what I, and not my students, found intellectually exciting. I wanted something more for my students.
by Francesca Fornasini, Astronomy
I realized that they had little or no confidence in their answers and that they did not have any strategies for assessing the reasonableness of their solutions. Therefore, I tried to incorporate into my discussion sections a variety of strategies to help my students test the reasonableness of their answers.
by Ari Nieh, Mathematics
The homework problems that generated the most confusion among my students were not particularly long, complicated, or computationally arduous; rather, the difficult problems were the ones which involved formulating a rigorous argument. Faced with any problem that used the word “prove” or “show,” the class was unsure how to get started.
by Benjamin Yost, Rhetoric
Grappling with divergent understandings of a text is a highlight of the class, but for many students is also fraught with uncertainty and confusion…When they occur, I slow down the discussion, and remind students that different interpretations are not signs of hopeless undecidability, but reveal that arguments work only on the basis of particular assumptions.
by Gautam Borooah, Mathematics
Since mathematics in books is (almost) always correct and students’ work is often wrong, they think that they cannot produce “real” mathematics. They are so afraid of coming up with a wrong idea that they do not articulate any ideas at all: they are too afraid to try.
by Terry O’Brien, Integrative Biology
In my experience, no matter how much students practice…skills, few are able to develop a clear conceptual matrix for those skills without significant guidance from the instructor. A direct approach to this problem means that the instructor first provides students with the scaffolding of concepts for each skill.