The Advantages of Rearranging the Topics Covered in a Course

by Peyam Tabrizian, Mathematics
in the spirit of my Math 54 experience as a student and as a GSI, I decided to reorganize things. Instead of teaching the course in two separate chunks, I mixed the topics up in a way that I would first teach a linear algebra concept, and then immediately apply it to differential equations.

Teaching Quantitative Optical Filter Choice as Part of Practical Microscopy

by Neil Switz, Biophysics
My objective was to remedy the limitations of existing, theory-based classes by allowing students to learn the practical optical techniques and theory for microscopy via hands-on experience and instruction in the practical techniques used by optical engineers but not emphasized in textbooks.

Designing a Better Laboratory Course

by Richard Keith Slotkin, Plant and Microbial Biology
I set up what I called “cooking show” exercises. For example, when a student finished assembling a reaction, instead of waiting for a week to see the results, I had pre-run reactions ready. This enabled us to bypass time intensive waiting steps and allowed the students to complete long protocols within the three-hour class time.

Practice Matters: The Design and Teaching of an Introductory Clinical Seminar

by Christine Zalecki, Psychology
Discussions with classmates revealed that…we all had felt ill-equipped to handle the task of being a novice therapist…I wondered whether there was a better way to prepare students for their clinical work. During my fourth year, while I was working as a Clinic Assistant, I seized the opportunity to address this apparent need in our program.

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.

Incorporating Design-for-Environment into the Undergraduate Product Design Curriculum

by Eric Masanet, Mechanical Engineering
This approach — called design-for-environment — has gained significant momentum worldwide and is an invaluable skill for UCB design engineering students to acquire…I was therefore surprised to learn…that design-for-environment was not being taught as part of UCBs undergraduate design curriculum, nor was it even introduced as an important concept to the design students. To address this problem, I initiated, developed and presented a comprehensive design-for-environment lecture that has since become a regular feature in the ME 110 course.