Do you feel pressured to cover all the contents in the textbook for your course? How can you make time to allow students to engage meaningfully with the contents during class? Here are three evidence-based strategies by Petersen, C. I., et. al.:
Now, let’s talk about effective course planning, the backward design way.
Here is a detailed guide, understanding by design.
Effective teaching and learning begin with writing good learning objectives. The learning objectives:
Have your students’ learning in mind. Will the students:
Here is a video providing foundational knowledge of Backward Design:
Ready for your course? Let’s start with your syllabus. Have you ever asked yourself how many students actually read through the syllabus? As put by Dr. Stephanie Speicher of Weber State University, when created with intentionality, the syllabus serves as an invitation to connect the students to you, other students, and the course. Don’t miss the opportunities!
Need more information on creating a syllabus student will read? Continue reading Humanizing Your Syllabus.
Key attributes of effective assessment questions – 4 C’s
Writing Effective Rubrics
The rubric should:
Based on the rubric, point values or ratings can be assigned to match the context. Writing the rubric is also a chance to check: Does the question explicitly ask for the expected response? If not, the question can be revised accordingly.
Level of proficiency can be set depending on the question and context: highly proficient, proficient, not yet proficient. Now, construct a highly proficient answer, define the essential element(s) of a highly proficient answer, and describe acceptable variations. Next, consider what essential element(s) consist of a proficient (or partially correct) answer, and describe acceptable variations. Lastly, define what is considered a not-yet-proficient answer. Reflect on the meaning of proficient and not-yet-proficient answers in terms of student learning. Revise the question and rubric as needed based on actual student answers and/or feedback from colleagues.
Immediate Feedback Assessment Test (IF-AT)
These multiple-choice cards provide immediate feedback on performance in a fun, scratchable, lotto-ticket like format. Quizzes are available in different sizes. Orders generally contain four different quizzes. The answer key is sent to instructors who can then create a quiz to match these answers.
When doing teamwork, it may be important to collect student feedback on the contribution of team members to the group effort. This data can be used to adjust team grades for each person.
The following article provides an insightful description and discussion of two-stage testing, the practice of making students take a test on their own and repeat it with a peer.
Project 2061's Science Assessment Website makes available instruments that are effective and accurate measures of students' understanding of science learning goals and can be used to diagnose students' conceptual difficulties. This online bank of high-quality test items and related assessment resources were designed for use in middle and early high school science, but is useful for college and university courses as well.
Providing Constructive Feedbacks
Feedback is an opportunity for an exchange of ideas. The goal is to make the work better. Here are some suggestions on constructive feedback:
Equity may mean different things to different people. To me, it means to remove barriers for students, which requires instructors and institutions to provide personalized support for student success. A college student with young children and working full time will require very different types of support compared to a traditional high school graduate entering college. Here are some practices that can promote equity and inclusion, and broaden accessibility for all students.
A case study is using content of something really happened to teach relevant concepts that students are actively involved in.
Case Study Methods
Type of case studies
Analysis (issues) cases – what happened?
Decision (dilemma) cases
Combine team-based learning and case studies
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) Case Collection: A curated collection contains nearly a thousand peer-reviewed case studies on a variety of topics in all areas of science.
This website allows teachers to clip videos, insert multiple choice questions at specific points in the video, and track student responses.
Similar to Ed Puzzle. Free to join, this online service allows instructors to add interactive questions, video branching, and rich media into the video's timeline to actively engage on mobile or web devices
This is an online tool to survey students anonymously and show responses in real-time. Students use mobile texting or access to the internet to provide input. It works like a clicker, and there are more response options than multiple-choice (e.g., Word Cloud). The tool is free for up to 40 participants.
Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive physics, chemistry, biology, and math simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.
King's Centre for Visualization in Science
Committed to improving the public understanding of science through the development of innovative ways to visualize science. Most of the applets developed were created by an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate researchers.
Flip (formerly Flipgrid)
Flip is a video discussion app, free from Microsoft, where curious minds connect in safe, small groups to share videos, build community, and learn together.
Working collaboratively with Community-Engaged Learning (CEL), we are excited for the CEL program to be successful at NJCU, including expanded course offerings in Honors, General Education, and major courses, Scholarship publications (E. Nir & J. Musial), and grants received from the Mellon Foundation (PI: S. Donaldson), AAC&U (PIs: Y. Wei & J. Pax), and NSF (PIs: Y. Wei, W. Zhang, J. Pax, & W. Montgomery).
Defining and Assessing Skills for Equitable Career Preparation
Developing and Scaling Equitable High-Impact Experiences for Career Success
Promoting and Supporting Interdisciplinary Design Thinking
Advancing Models for Effective Campus/Industry Partnerships
Additional reading: What Career-Focused Curriculum Looks Like