Any Questions?

(Image shared by db Photography on flicker CC-BY)

(Image shared by db Photography on flicker CC-BY)

In the terrific book, How People Learn, [1] the authors describe 3 key findings about how people learn, what teachers should do with those findings, and what it might look like in the classroom:

  1. Students come to the classroom, each with their own pre-existing knowledge, experiences, skills, motivations, and resources, that the teacher needs to draw out and work with through student-centered activities.

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Think-Pair-Share meets Peer Instruction

This Summer, my center is supporting a cohort of 24 graduate students who are teaching for the first time. They’ve participated in our teaching and learning class, The College Classroom, and we strongly encourage them use evidence-based, student-centered instructional activities in their classes.…

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PI in LA

I’m excited to return to Cal State University Los Angeles (CSULA) to give a couple of workshops on peer instruction. My thanks to Beverly Bondad-Brown in the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning for the invitation.

My first workshop is about writing good peer instructions.…

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You’re only a 2-minute pause away from peer instruction

No matter what course you teach, one of your course-level learning outcomes should be that students will think more like experts in your field. They won’t be experts yet, not after one course or even an undergraduate degree, but they can think in more expert-like ways.…

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If all you have is a stick, every student looks like an ass*

If you read something Wednesday morning and it’s still bugging you on Friday afternoon, don’t keep having a conversation in your head, write about it.

A few days ago, yet another hand-wringing, oh-dear-what-shall-we-do-about-it post about students and their phones came through my Twitter feed.…

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If you want them to think like experts…

[Cross-posted from the UCSD Center for Teaching Development]

I spend a lot of time thinking about how and why peer instruction works and helping instructors improve their technique. The other day, I had an experience that crystallized for me the difference between peer instruction and students merely clicking their clickers.…

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Students, teachers, #flipclass and the transitive property

In math, it’s called the transitive property:

If A=B and B=C, then A=C.

And it jumped off my iPhone screen this morning while I was reading my morning stream of tweets on Twitter.

I spend a lot of time thinking about peer instruction with clickers, like this, this and this, which naturally leads to discussions about “flipping the classroom.” That’s when students do work before class, like reading the text in a  guided way or watching videos created of the instructor, where they learn the simple, background material.…

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A Tale of Two Comets: Evidence-Based Teaching in Action

Comet McNaught

Comet McNaught wow'd observers in the Southern Hemisphere in 2007. (Image by chrs_snll on flickr CC)

We often hear about “evidence-based teaching and learning.” In fact, it’s a pillar of the approach to course development and transformation that we follow in the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative.…

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Workshop on Effective Peer Instruction in Biology

I’m really excited to be running another peer instruction workshop with my colleague Cynthia Heiner. This time, we’re tailoring the content of the clicker questions to biology, thanks to the input (and organization) of our CWSEI colleague, Bridgette Clarkston (@funnyfishes on Twitter).…

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