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Eric Mazur on new interactive teaching techniques

Eric Mazur on new interactive teaching techniques
In 1990, after seven years of teaching at Harvard, Eric Mazur, now Balkanski professor of physics and applied physics, was delivering clear, polished lectures and demonstrations and getting high student evaluations for his introductory Physics 11 course, populated mainly by premed and engineering students who were successfully solving complicated problems. Then he discovered that his success as a teacher “was a complete illusion, a house of cards.” The epiphany came via an article in the American Journal of Physics by Arizona State professor David Hestenes. He had devised a very simple test, couched in everyday language, to check students’ understanding of one of the most fundamental concepts of physics—force—and had administered it to thousands of undergraduates in the southwestern United States. Mazur tried the test on his own students. Some soul-searching followed. Serendipity provided the breakthrough he needed. “Here’s what happened,” he continues. “It’s not easy. Related:  Instructional Techniques and Resources for STEM

Don’t Lecture Me: Rethinking How College Students Learn Flickr:AllHails At the star-studded Harvard Initiative on Learning and Teaching (HILT) event earlier this month, where professors gathered to discuss innovative strategies for learning and teaching, Harvard’s professor Eric Mazur gave a talk on the benefits of practicing peer instruction in class, rather than the traditional lecture. The idea is getting traction. By Emily Hanford, American RadioWorks It’s a typical scene: a few minutes before 11:00 on a Tuesday morning and about 200 sleepy-looking college students are taking their seats in a large lecture hall – chatting, laughing, calling out to each other across the aisles. This is an introductory chemistry class at a state university. Students in this class say the instructor is one of the best lecturers in the department. Student Marly Dainton says she doesn’t think she’ll remember much from this class. Most of the students in his lecture classes were not motivated to learn physics, and they didn’t seem to be learning much.

The Peer Instruction Method Peer Instruction Problems:Introduction to the Method Making Your Lecture More Interactive The Peer Instruction technique is a method created by Eric Mazur to help make lectures more interactive and to get students intellectually engaged with what is going on. In this method, The instructor presents students with a qualitative (usually multiple choice) question that is carefully constructed to engage student difficulties with fundamental concepts. This method, besides having the advantage of engaging the student and making the lecture more interesting to the student, has the tremendous importance of giving the instructor significant feedback about where the class is and what it knows. For more information, see Peer Instruction, Eric Mazur (Prentice Hall) Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite, Edward F. Ways of Collecting Student Responses You can collect student responses in a variety of ways. Electronic Remote Answering Devices (RADs) are now conveniently and cheaply available.

Flexible Opportunities The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids: 239 Cool Sites 9 Characteristics Of 21st Century Learning The label of “21st Century learning” is vague, and is an idea that we here at TeachThought like to take a swing at as often as possible, including: –weighing the magic of technology with its incredible cost and complexity –underscoring the potential for well thought-out instructional design –considering the considerable potential of social media platforms against its apparent divergence from academic learning Some educators seek out the ideal of a 21st century learning environment constantly, while others prefer that we lose the phrase altogether, insisting that learning hasn’t changed, and good learning looks the same whether it’s the 12th or 21st century. At TeachThought, we tend towards the tech-infused model, but do spend time exploring the limits and challenges of technology, the impact of rapid technology change, and carefully considering important questions before diving in head-first. The size of the circles on the map are intended to convey priority. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Helping Students Write Better Lab Reports One of the messages of the Writing Across the Curriculum movement is that writing skills can be developed in any course and that often the best place to start is with current assignments that involve writing. That’s where chemists Gragson and Hagen started. They were disappointed in the quality of student writing in their “journal-style” lab reports. They undertook a major redesign of the lab report assignment, guided by three principles they believed would improve the quality of those reports. For the first experiment, each student wrote an abstract and a materials and methods section according to the formal journal-style lab report protocols. To help students understand the writing demands of this kind of lab report, the authors prepared an Integrated Writing Guide that included a sample lab report. The review and revision process used the Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) model, which includes writing, calibration, peer review, self-assessment, and then revision. Reference: Gragson, D.

The Connected Learner in a PLE We are all learners. We are connected to each other and innovative learning experiences that we never thought were possible before. It doesn't matter how old you are, where you live, and what you want to learn, you can connect to people, resources, and courses so you, the learner, can learn what you want when you want to. This means what we call "school" is different. Teachers and learners are different. Roles change. Even though the numbers of younger children using technology is growing, most of the use is around games and play. At the core of Connected Learning are three Values:EquityFull ParticipationSocial connection These values are based on the three Learning Principles:Interest-powered Peer-supported Academically oriented Connected Learning builds on the three Design Principles:Shared purposeProduction-centeredOpenly networked This infographic illustrates this new model of Connected Learning:

Defined STEM The 50 Best Education Twitter Hashtags--With Meeting Times! 50 Important Education Twitter Hashtags–With Meeting Times! Note: We are updating this list that is now going on two years old. Please suggest any revisions, additions, etc., in the comments below and we’ll make the changes. Twitter chats are a great resource for learning and networking, allowing academics from all over the world to come together on a regular basis to talk about what’s important in education. Check out our list to find 50 of the best Twitter chats in academia (shared in no particular ranking), offering a great way to get connected and stay informed in the world of education. Education These are our picks for excellent education chats on Twitter. #EDCHAT:A busy hashtag with an even busier chat session, #edchat features an educational love chat on Tuesdays. Leadership & Reform Education is at a crossroads these days. #SPNCHAT:This Twitter chat is all about successful practices in education and education reform, every Tuesday at 9 p.m. Higher Education Career Edutech Community

Critical Steps Toward Modernizing Graduate STEM Education | Issues in Science and Technology By Alan I. Leshner, Layne Scherer Maintaining US leadership in graduate STEM education will require a focus on a wider range of skills beyond those needed for academic research. The US system for graduate education in science and engineering is widely regarded as the best—or at least among the best—in the world, as evidenced in part by the many thousands of students from other countries who come to the United States each year for their graduate training. Why has there been so much inertia in the system, and what needs to be done and by whom to help make the graduate STEM education system move forward? Central to making any pervasive change in STEM graduate education will be significant attitudinal, behavioral, and cultural changes throughout the system. An ideal graduate program What would an ideal graduate education look like, and what actions need to be taken to begin to approach that ideal? Local control makes systemic change difficult Academic incentives are critical Change is under way