Help Them Help Themselves!

by Nicholas Knight, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
I knew it would be completely infeasible to teach half of the class how to program during office hours or via a forum. So for the first homework, I designed teams that each had a member with computer programming experience. As a result, every team completed the assignment, and the collaborative write-up ensured that each team member understood the material, even if one team member did the majority of the programming. I was explicit with the class about our strategy to combine programmers and non-programmers.

A Voice in the Sciences

by Ryan Steele, Chemistry
I had to humbly undergo a transformation that allowed me to let the students’ discussion guide the session. Frankly, I had to shut up. Letting students speak and make mistakes does not mean conceding control of the classroom or the teacher’s sense of authority.

Stretching the Field of View

by James Su, Vision Science
Once I start hearing “oohs” and “ahas,” I know the students are starting to understand the physical effects of each of the telescope elements. The math comes naturally once the students understand what physically happens to the light rays that are squeezed, expanded, reflected, and bent.

Teaching Students with Diverse Backgrounds

by Matias Cattaneo, Economics
I was facing a big challenge: I had to teach highly technical topics to a very diverse audience. More importantly, I had to do this while following the pace of the professor’s lectures, attending to the demands of the students with strong technical skills, and preventing those students with relatively less preparation for this class from falling behind.

Incorporating Practice into Theory-Based Curriculum

by Lyn Paleo, Public Health
I believe that students in a practice-based field…should receive a combination of theory and skills development. Theory-based lectures are critical; however, they alone are insufficient to the task of teaching people how to design and conduct evaluations for health promotion programs.

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.

Mathematics: The Universal Language of Science

by Antar Bandyopadhyay, Statistics
The most important part was to make the students realize that what they were learning was not just some abstract nonsense but, some part of an universal language, which would give them necessary skills to “communicate” among themselves irrespective of their backgrounds and interests.