Achieving Higher Efficiency in Chemistry Labs Using Electronic Scheduling

by Rong “Rocky” Ye, Chemistry
Chemistry 112A had a five-hour lab section every week. [I]n the first few weeks of the semester, students had difficulties in finishing all the work on time… I saw the need to improve [their] efficiency without causing too much intervention in their independent thinking.

Staging the Exchange: Learning to Read and Write Beyond Similarity and Opposition

by Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, Rhetoric
[A]sked to write an essay that deals with more than one primary text, [students’] tendency is … to either illustrate the ways in which the texts make equivalent arguments, or to pit one text/author against the other… I realized that I needed to do more to teach students what it means to bring two texts “into conversation.”

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.

Starting with Art for the First Time

Elaine Yau, History of Art
I have often noted that students who have never had an art history course can be overwhelmed by a commonplace assumption that artistic “masterpieces” are self-evidently great. This point of departure usually results in hackneyed discussions about beauty, perfection, or “pinnacles of civilization.” I wanted my first writing assignment to provide a structured, accessible process for formal analysis that would equip students with a vocabulary from which to build their own interpretations confidently — to treat paintings as primary sources from a moment in history.

English R&C Research Assignment

This is a resource for students who are undertaking a research project. In this section, a former GSI in English explains the preparation research projects require.

Now Students, Don’t Forget to Play your Video Games

by John DeNero, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
The course’s original syllabus began with a conceptual roadmap of how various problems related to each other. But since our students didn’t understand the individual problems yet, they didn’t understand the purpose of the framework…To infuse continuity into the course, I designed a series of projects around Pacman, a classic video game with lots of retro charm.

Getting on the Same Page

by Susan Hicks, Geography
I realized that while there may be a bag of tricks for keeping things running smoothly in the classroom, there is no instant solution to the problem of students starting out with very different levels of familiarity with the material.

The Zen of Reductions (How to Understand Computers by Becoming One)

by Ajeet Shankar, Computer Science
I quickly realized that it was imprudent simply to hope that they would develop an intuition about reductions; it had taken me years to nurture my own intuition, after all, and I would be expecting my students to cultivate theirs in a matter of weeks! So I formulated a method for my students that made solving reductions easier.

An Example of the Use of Frameworks in Skills-Based Learning

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.