Maryellen Weimer from Faculty Focus published a short article on “Getting Students to Take Responsibility for Learning” on their blog.
I’ve been writing for years that we need to teach in ways that encourage students to take more responsibility for their learning. Recently, it became clear that my thinking on this needed more detail and depth. I’ve been saying that it means students should be doing the learning tasks that make them stronger learners. They should be figuring out what’s important in the reading, rather than having the teacher to tell them. They should be taking notes rather than expecting to get the teacher’s slides and notes.
It was a question in a workshop that made me realize my answer wasn’t wrong, just incomplete. “In a formal learning situation, like a course, what responsibilities do students have?” After further reflection, my answer to that question is that the responsibilities exist across three areas.
Students do have a responsiblity in the teaching and learning process and she provides some insightful ideas on how to think this through.
Do you have ideas on getting students ot take responsibility for learning in your class? Post them below!
PhysPort posted a great article on “How can I get students to have productive discussions of clicker questions?” on their blog on supporting physics teaching with research-based resources.
Clicker questions are increasingly being used to stimulate student discussion and provide faculty and students with timely feedback. Research suggests that discussing clicker questions can lead to increased student learning, and that students exchanging constructive criticism can generate conceptual change.
What can you do as an instructor to encourage all students to have productive discussion? We conducted studies of what students say to each other during clicker discussions when instructors use different instructional techniques. Here’s what we and others have learned and how you can apply it in your classroom:
Clickers has been a very useful strategy to engage students in class in many universities (including McGill), even in large class environments. In-class feedback can help students focus on what is important, practice problems or ideas in class and enage with their fellow classmates in discussion.
Polling@McGill can be used for free by any instructor, TA or student on campus. Students can use their own smartphones, tablets or laptops to respond in real-time to questions in class. If you are interested in using the system, just sign up on the Polling@McGill website.
Are you using Polling@McGill in your courses? Do you have any stories you would like to share? Let us know!
Marie Norman from Faculty Focus just posted a very interesting article online on “Sychronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students“.
There’s a widely circulated YouTube video you may have seen called “A Conference Call in Real Life.” To spoof the strange, stilted dynamics of conference calls, it replicates them in a face-to-face setting. Participants stiffly announce their names at the door of a meeting room, are suddenly interrupted by bizarre background noises, and find themselves inexplicably locked out of a room they were just in.
If you haven’t watched it, do. You’ll recognize the familiar awkwardness of virtual meetings, where the rhythm of conversational interaction is thrown wildly askew by technological hiccups and the absence of visual cues.
Virtual space is not always easy.
Yet, virtual meetings are increasingly common, not only for geographically distributed work teams, but also for online courses.
So how do you teach in this odd virtual space? How do you keep participants from descending into that peculiar passivity characteristic of conference calls? And how do you help students fight the constant temptation of momentarily clicking away from class? While virtual classes are not without challenges, there are, in fact, concrete steps you can take to run class sessions that are energetic, interactive, and productive. Here are a few suggestions…..
…view the rest of the article on their site: Sychronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students
Are you interested in developing a synchronous online class? Come speak with and educational developer in TLS who can help you think about redesigning your class for a new environment. Continue reading Sychronous Online Classes: 10 Tips for Engaging Students
Professor Madhukar Pai, Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health, wrote an insightful post ‘How can we become better teachers‘ in the February issue of Nature Microbiology. Its always great to see posts about teaching and learning appearing in mainstream research journals within a discipline. Professor Pai talks about starting small, thinking about your students, focusing on reflection and much more. He also makes many of his teaching resources available for free on his own teaching epidemiology website.
It is often challenging to engage in productive “difficult dialogues” in the classroom. Faculty Focus just released a very interesting article that discusses seven different strategies to help. Continue reading Strategies to engage in productive difficult dialogues