Consensus Techniques for Learning Together

by Genevieve Painter, Legal Studies (home department Jurisprudence and Social Policy)
Sorting through masses of research is a key learning objective of the reading and composition seminar. Students reported feeling overwhelmed as they confronted a wealth of sources and ideas in preparing their final papers. What is one way that participatory social movements deal with analyzing an excess of information? Card clustering!

Teaching Students ‘Street Smarts’ Necessary for Navigating Peer-Reviewed Literature

by Jeff Benca, Integrative Biology
During the in-class debate, we focused on the question “What caused earth’s greatest mass extinction?” … It was truly inspiring for me to hear both discussion sections of the class spend 1.5 hours actively … debating which arguments held most credence by analyzing the approaches of the papers, considering the expertise of the authors, and applying trends in the fossil record covered in previous lectures.

Policy Consulting Simulations as a Tool for Understanding and Applying Economic Concepts

by Anna Rubin, Public Policy
Assigning students to small groups leveraged the economics background that many students brought to this class by putting them in the role of a peer teacher… This structure…help[ed] students struggling to understand core concepts…[and created] opportunities for all students to apply these concepts to public policy questions.

Engaging with the Thesis Statement: Developing Metacognitive Skills

by Jennifer Johnson, Linguistics (Home Department: Education)
I needed to develop in-class peer review and self review activities that assist students in exploring, understanding, and contesting feedback. … How do I help students develop metacognitive skills — in other words, reflect on their reflections?

Language Pedagogy as a Group Effort

by Rahul Bjørn Parson, South and Southeast Asian Studies
I had learned while teaching South Asian language and literature courses that all my students come with different experiences and abilities and varying knowledge of the region and culture; and that often the best pedagogical method is to empower the students to teach each other.

Teaching Students How to Create a Picture Worth a Thousand Words

by Julie Ullman, Molecular and Cell Biology
Precision in language is an unspoken tenet of scientific disciplines, and it is fair to have strict requirements for that in exams. Yet the question arose: How could I help to level the achievement gap between students who worked in science and had extensive, confident scientific lexicons and those who didn’t, while at the same time challenging everyone?

Helping Students Learn (and Effectively Use) What They Already Know

by Paul Bruno, Physics
If I could help them recognize what they had learned, and to see how that acquired knowledge empowered them to understand even more course material, I could develop both their understanding of physics and their positive self-efficacy as science learners.

Getting in Touch with Your Inner Physicist

by Badr Albanna, Physics
I decided to reverse the dynamic of our discussion sections. When it came time to work on problems, instead of my standing in front of the class begging the students to explain how they reasoned the first part of problem one to their classmates, they would become the teachers and I would adopt the role of a particularly knowledgeable assistant.

Development of an Inquiry-Based Activity from a Content Intensive Curriculum

by Amanda Heddle, Environmental Science, Policy and Management
In the semester I taught…there were twenty-eight students enrolled which, in a content intensive course, presents a problem for developing activities that are inquiry-based. The immediate problems I faced as a teacher for this class were how to take the content of the class and facilitate learning through inquiry rather than memorization, and how to make sure that students received personal assistance with specific problems they faced when trying to identify their specimens.

Linking Theory and Experiment in a Biochemistry Lab

by Giulietta Spudich, Molecular and Cell Biology
I used the students who already had strengths in the theory by interrupting my discussion of the protocol to ask the students why we were doing certain steps. The more theoretically minded students would answer, providing insight to the class. I was attempting to get the students to link the “why” behind the experiment to the practical side of the laboratory.