Science of learning

This report covers important issues on how students learn.  It “summarizes the existing research from cognitive science related to how students learn, and connect this research to its practical implications for teaching and learning. This document is intended to serve as a resource to teacher-educators, new teachers, and anyone in the education profession who is interested in our best scientific understanding of how learning takes place.”

Full report is available here.

Peer instruction: old method, new award!

Peer instruction developed and described by a physicist Eric Mazur has been in use for at least 20 years: “The method aims to engage students by devoting class time to active discussions. Rather than starting a class with regular lecture, the professor poses a series of questions about an assigned reading or video, and gives the students time to discuss and come to a consensus.” See this post for more details. Dr. Mazur will be honored with a Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education for his pioneering his work.

8 Strategies for Teaching Academic Language

I communicated with many students the last couple of days. It was a great fun! I also heard some faculty mentioned that one of the challenges was not English mode of communication and instruction per se, but academic English. So, this article from Edutopia is very timely! Please access it here.

Strategies offered:

  • Encourage students to read diverse texts
  • Introduce summary frames
  • Help students translate from academic to social language (and back)
  • Have students complete scripts of academic routines
  • Dynamically introduce academic vocabulary
  • Help students diagram similarities and differences
  • Have students write with a transition handout
  • Teach key words for understanding standardized test prompts

Grading, grading, grading

Typically, teaching is a very rewarding activity. However, there are those times during your semester when grading becomes too intense and stressful… Of course, correctly constructed assessment, rubrics, and availability of tools make your life a little bit more manageable.  Let’s see what we can do next semester to reduce grading headaches! Please start with the diigo collection of resources.