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 >>
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 >>
by Sonia Travaglini, College of Engineering (Home Department: Mechanical Engineering) Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 Working to support the Masters of Engineering capstone projects, my hardest challenge was teaching students to communicate the value and significance of their highly technical work. Students had to learn science writing; how to use Continue Reading >>
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 >>
by Jingxun Chen, Molecular and Cell Biology Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 Challenge: Genetics is a difficult subject for many students because of its abstract concepts. In other MCB classes, students often learn biology through descriptive narratives—each step of a cellular process is drawn out, organisms’ morphologies are compared, or Continue Reading >>
By Alexandra Courtois de Vicose, History of Art
When confronted with a Monet water landscape last spring and asked, “What do you see?” [my students] rightly answered, “A boat.” “You understand this shape as a boat because, culturally, you know what a boat looks like. Keep in mind, however, this is but an amalgamation of pigment on a two-dimensional surface. So, really, what do you see?”
by Jordan Greenwald, Comparative Literature
I…came to realize that this lesson could not be learned through class discussion alone, since asking these questions while leading discussion is pedagogically less effective than getting students to ask those questions themselves. I therefore decided, with the encouragement of my co-instructor, to design a group assignment that would familiarize students with the choices one makes when bringing a dramatic text to life.
by Julie Wesp, Anthropology
I wanted to create an environment that would stimulate higher-order learning and instill a deeper understanding and organization of the information. Answering the kind of questions the students were asking did not help them to piece together the parts into a whole; it only insinuated that repetitive memorization was the key to success. In an effort to break this cycle, during the next section I simply stopped answering them.
by Ryan Turner, Astronomy (Home Department: Earth and Planetary Science)
Not everything we learn in school is easily quantified, and the goal of the C12 star party did not include specific learning objectives. The effectiveness of the project was measured in oohs and aahs as students took their first look through the eyepiece.
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.