June 27, 2011

Designing Effective Clicker Questions by Going Beyond Factual Recall

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At one point, a General Chemistry course at Penn State Berks had a success rate of about 50 percent, giving the multi-section course the dubious distinction of having one of the lowest GPAs on campus. After a thorough redesign, the course now consistently achieves a success rate of well over 70 percent, while the student ratings of the course and the instructors have never been higher. The key element in this chemistry course’s redesign? Clickers.


February 24, 2011

Learning through Teaching

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“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth learning can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde

Russell L. Ackoff tells a wonderful story in the podcast for the book he wrote with Daniel Greenberg “Turning Learning Right Side Up:”

After lecturing to undergraduates at a major university, I was accosted by a student who had attended the lecture. After some complimentary remarks, he asked, “How long ago did you teach your first class?”


August 19, 2010

The Three Big Questions Faculty Need to Ask

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The growth of knowledge within your discipline is what makes being a professor so exciting, but it also presents new challenges–particularly when it comes to teaching. Because the time allotted for each course remains constant and the content that could be included in any course continues to grow, you may find it difficult to try to cram all this information into a course.



March 19, 2010

Putting Students in Charge of Finding Real-World Examples Makes for a More Engaging Classroom

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As a marketing professor, I often found myself scouring publications, stores, and my cabinets prior to a lecture, to find real-world examples of concepts I was teaching. Although students seemed to appreciate and learn from these examples, it didn’t get them as actively involved in their learning as I’d like.



September 13, 2008

Creating an Active Distance Learning Environment

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Kristopher Wiemer, instructional technology specialist at Philadelphia University, encourages instructors to adopt active-learning strategies such as hands-on activities, interaction, and research “to make sure students are engaged and aren’t just sitting there like sponges. I introduce [faculty] to the concept of active learning. Most of them are new to this and…”