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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Improving Board Work with Colors

by Yi-Chuan Lu, Physics Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 Physics is a subject that describes nature by using precise mathematical language. When we teach physics, it is inevitable to prove equations in addition to explaining the physical phenomena, but it is also the time when students get frustrated. For example, Continue Reading >>

Asking Effective Questions

Elicit thought and reflection by asking effective questions when you interact with students during lab.