Developing Narratives for Aspiring Biologists

by Victor Reyes-Umana, Plant and Microbial Biology Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 A game of hot potato, borrowing a book from the library, and how a crowd of people enters a room may not sound like relevant topics to bring up during a Biology 1A discussion—but for my students, these Continue Reading >>

Using Phenomena-Based Inquiry to Increase Class Participation

by Rachael Olliff Yang, Integrative Biology Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 At the beginning of every class, instructors are faced with the challenge of encouraging participation. I was able to successfully increase class participation using phenomena-based inquiry. In Fall 2018 I co-taught the field section and lab of General Biology Continue Reading >>

Online Research in the Age of Google

by Nicholaus Gutierrez, Rhetoric Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 Students in R1B classes are asked to engage in research that involves acquiring relevant information through reliable sources, and to use those sources to produce new knowledge on a given topic. This can be a challenge in the age of Google, Continue Reading >>

Learning Why and not just How

by Anamika Chowdhury, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 “I practiced all the homework questions, attended all classes, and even went over lecture notes multiple times… still failed to score well. I give up!” I was rather perplexed to hear such distraught statements from several students in Continue Reading >>

Contextualizing Social Theory with Collaborative Timelines

by Nicholas Anderman, Geography Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2019 In Geography 112, a challenging, upper-division course, students read canonical social theory (Marx and Engels, Antonio Gramsci, Franz Fanon, etc.) alongside historical texts that show how these thinkers’ key concepts emerged out of particular events. A key learning outcome of the Continue Reading >>

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 >>