Focusing on Learning Instead of Teaching Collaborative learning Collaborative learning Individual and group quizzes Individual and group quizzes Teaching

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  • Focusing on Learning Instead of TeachingCollaborative learningIndividual and group quizzesTeaching through case studiesOnline writing assignments

  • Components of CourseAssigned reading Frequent individual and group quizzesVery short lecturesPresentations on the most difficult conceptsQuestion and answer sessionsCase studiesWriting assignmentsExaminations

  • Collaborative learningGroupsassigned by professordiverse (gender, age, ethnicity, science background) permanent3-6 studentsGrading Policygroup work accounts for one third of gradepeer evaluation determines percentage of group points individuals earn

  • Quizzes Review in classStudents prepare for quiz by talking to their group members about assigned readingInstructor answers questions Individual quizQuestions from assigned readingGroup quizSame questions as individual quizGrade group quizzes and discuss answersAll members of group earn same score

  • Case StudiesBased on science issues that students encounter in the news or in their livesPut science in context for studentsIllustrate scientific methodologyPromote skills in group learning, speaking, and critical thinkingOften require students to interpret ambiguous dataModel science as a social enterprise

  • Working through a caseFirst dayGroups decide what they need to learn in order to understand the caseClass discussion of learning objectivesGroup members select topics to learnSecond dayIndividuals teach group members what they learned about their topicGroups discuss case and decide what else they need to know to understand itGroup members select topics to learn

  • Working through a caseThird dayGroups discuss caseStart project one per groupFourth dayProject due Paper or presentation describing what they learnedClass discussion of caseProfessor clarifies remaining issues and identifies topics that may appear on examination

  • Online writing assignmentsCalibrated Peer ReviewFree web-based program written by a biochemistAllows frequent writing assignments even in large classesStudents submit essays on assigned topicAnswer questions about calibration essays:one excellent, one mediocre, one bad Use same criteria to evaluate essays of three peers (anonymous)Evaluate their own essays

  • Implications for students

    Initially suspicious of group work having such a major impact on gradeHave greater control over their learning Tend to take responsibility for their learningDevelop skills that are transferable to other classes Class time devoted to issues causing most problems to students Passive students become activeDepth of understanding seems to increase

  • Implications for facultyLabor intensiveQuizzesCase studies Writing assignmentsBookkeepingControl issues Classroom seems chaotic at timesRelationship with students changesMost students initially find learning environment unfamiliar and threateningDialogue criticalProfessor is not just the expert - also the coach