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January 12, 2012
Losing the Lecture
There is a great piece from NPR about physicists reworking their large lecture courses after learning that lectures don't facilitate learning. I have included the link below.
Inspired by the article, here is an example of how you can lose the lecture. We know active learning is a better teaching method than lectures, but many of us (including me!) get nervous about changing our teaching methods. This is one example of how to lose the lecture and embrace active learning; there are thousands of ways to revamp your teaching to include more active learning. I am providing the example below to help ASPer's who feel stuck.
1) Start by asking students a question that will frame their learning. What is the fundamental concept I want students to know before the end of the class?
Examples of questions:
–Why are these cases grouped together? Name 3 things that are the SAME in each of these cases.
–Name 3 things that are DIFFERENT in each of these cases? Do they change, extend, or clarify the law?
2) When you get to discussing the cases they read in preparation for class, start each discussion with a question and 3 possible answers. Have them discuss, in pairs or in small groups, what they think the answer is and why. Have them vote on the relevant facts of the case. Ask them to explain their answer, by asking how THESE facts (vs. the wrong choices) relate to the holding. Make sure you ask them to tell you HOW they got to their answer, so you can tease out any flawed reasoning.
3) End the class with the same question you asked at the start of class. This time, have them vote on the best answer. If they come up with answers that are off the mark, give them the correct answer, but ask them to compare how the correct answer is different from the incorrect statement.
4) The final activity in class should be an exercise. Have students demonstrate their learning by asking them to show how the concept works in context.
•How would it work in the real world, for a practitioner? What type of challenges might they encounter if they see this issue as a practitioner?
•How would it work on an exam? How would a professor test this concept? Have them make up and answer their own hypos.
•How would it get put into an outline? Ask them to outline their notes from class, and explain why they feel
•How would they find the concept in their reading? What would they need to look for in the text of a case?
Again, this is only one example. It is not the only way of incorporating active learning in your teaching.
January 12, 2012 in News, Teaching Tips | Permalink
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