by Bristin Jones, Comparative Literature Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2018 In my first semester teaching Reading and Composition (R&C) in the Comparative Literature department, I realized that one of the most significant challenges undergraduates face in engaging with literary texts is producing thought-provoking thesis statements and arguments. After years of 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 Mercedes Taylor, Chemistry Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 The student pulled her test tube out of the ice bucket for the tenth time, then slumped in despair at the sight of the clear liquid. She shoved the sample back into the ice and put her head in her hands. Continue Reading >>
Elicit thought and reflection by asking effective questions when you interact with students during lab.
by Sandile Hlatshwayo, Economics
There are several benefits to this warm-up approach. Primarily… students who must first attempt to solve problems with very little instruction tend to learn the concepts better once they are given formal instruction. Second, students experience less fear over offering incorrect answers as making public errors becomes a normalized part of the classroom experience. Finally, and centrally, students that tend to be non-participators participate…
by Elise Piazza, Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies (Home Department: Vision Science)
On my first day as a graduate student instructor for Introduction to Cognitive Science, I noticed that participation was limited to a few students, while the rest sat silently, either intimidated or bored…As an experimental psychologist, I decided to introduce my scientific approach to teaching by turning our discussion section into an experiment.
by Ashley Leyba, History
Over time it became clear to me that, more often than not, the discussions were a showcase of what I, and not my students, found intellectually exciting. I wanted something more for my students.
by Francesca Fornasini, Astronomy
I realized that they had little or no confidence in their answers and that they did not have any strategies for assessing the reasonableness of their solutions. Therefore, I tried to incorporate into my discussion sections a variety of strategies to help my students test the reasonableness of their answers.
by Ari Nieh, Mathematics
The homework problems that generated the most confusion among my students were not particularly long, complicated, or computationally arduous; rather, the difficult problems were the ones which involved formulating a rigorous argument. Faced with any problem that used the word “prove” or “show,” the class was unsure how to get started.