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Beth Wilson’s use of an active learning discussion board in an online class

Filed in engaging students in class by on October 24, 2018 0 Comments
Beth Wilson’s use of an active learning discussion board in an online class

I am an online professor teaching a graduate class in systems engineering.  This week the students are engaging in active learning through a discussion board assignment that launched today to apply the lecture concepts presented this week to real world case studies. Using the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 as an example, the recorded […]

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Peer learning: not just for engagement

Filed in engaging students in class by on October 12, 2017 0 Comments
Peer learning: not just for engagement

In discussions about teaching and learning at WPI in recent years, one of the concerns and frustrations I’ve heard most frequently is that students seem to forget what they were taught–and what we were convinced they actually learned– just a few months ago in a previous course. I recently came across this article,”Why Students Forget […]

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A continuum of active learning

Filed in engaging students in class by on June 30, 2017 0 Comments

At the recent American Society for Engineering Education annual conference, a new engineering educator from the University of Pittsburgh referred to this diagram illustrating an active learning continuum. It comes from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan. Using this diagram, he identified the simplest techniques– minute papers, think-pair-share, and […]

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#ActiveLearningDay handouts

Filed in engaging students in class by on October 23, 2016 0 Comments

A nationwide Active Learning Day is being held on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. This initiative is led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as part of its efforts to improve STEM education at all levels using insights from research in the learning sciences. One element is asking instructors to spend 10 minutes […]

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Marja Bakermans: First day activities in a 1000-level biodiversity course

Filed in first day of class by on October 18, 2016 0 Comments

(BB 1045, Biodiversity, 40-80 students) On the first day of class I like to take a few minutes, before I go through the syllabus and discuss the expectations for the term, for students to contemplate the study of biodiversity. First, I ask students for the definition of biodiversity. Next, I explain that each discipline has […]

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Small group activities on the first day of class in introductory materials science

Filed in first day of class by on October 17, 2016 1 Comment
Small group activities on the first day of class in introductory materials science

My main pedagogical objective on the first day of class is for students to see, right away, that they will be talking as much as me during the course. In particular, since team-based learning is the dominant pedagogy in the course, I want them to experience that on the first day. In addition, I want to get […]

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Puzzles and Myth Busters instead of Powerpoint on the first day of Suzanne LePage’s Transportation Engineering course

Filed in first day of class by on October 17, 2016 0 Comments
Puzzles and Myth Busters instead of Powerpoint on the first day of Suzanne LePage’s Transportation Engineering course

To get students actively learning on the first day of my Traffic Engineering Course (CE 3050), I will not use my PowerPoint presentation that lists the various transportation modes, systems, and organizations involved in transportation engineering.  Instead, I will break them into groups of four and ask them to complete a crossword puzzle composed of […]

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Active learning on the first day of Constance Clark’s course on History of Evolutionary Thought

Filed in engaging students in class, first day of class by on October 17, 2016 0 Comments
Active learning on the first day of Constance Clark’s course on History of Evolutionary Thought

On the first day of class I arrive early with a cart full of skeletons, skulls, fossils, shells, plants, an ostrich egg, some rocks, shark teeth, and a peculiar upside-down drawing of a sloth.  Before the students arrive (at least with any luck before they arrive—if there are people who got there early I ask […]

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Constance Clark elicits discussion around a central theme using a provocative statement

Filed in engaging students in class, first day of class by on October 17, 2016 0 Comments
Constance Clark elicits discussion around a central theme using a provocative statement

In B-term of 2016, I am offering a seminar on the history of science in public and science popularization.  I always try to start the first class with an activity that gets people introducing themselves to each other and then talking through a theme that will be central to the course.  For the class this […]

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Eleanor Loiacono: The PB&J example is sticky!

Filed in engaging students in class, first day of class by on October 14, 2016 0 Comments
Eleanor Loiacono: The PB&J example is sticky!

One example I use in both undergraduate and graduate MIS courses on the first day of class is the making of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I lay out a table cloth over a desk and then place a plate, napkin, knife, fork, spoon, jar of peanut butter, loaf of bread, and jar of jelly. […]

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