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Sharing Teaching-as-Research at a Discipline-Specific Conference

Daniel Bergman, Department of Mathematics In January 2020, I attended my first Joint Mathematics Meetings, the single biggest math conference in the world. The conference lasted five full days and took place in the spacious Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. I was there to speak on joint work researching a new method for teaching introductory linear algebra. The Lead-Up My talk was scheduled for Friday afternoon and the conference […]

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Lilly Conference on Teaching for Active and Engaged Learning – San Diego, 2020

Katie Cox, Department of Anthropology In late February 2020 – just before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the shutdown of university campuses and shelter-in-place orders around the world – I had the opportunity to attend a Lilly Conference in San Diego. The Lilly Conference Series brings together university educators and administrators to present on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), with a focus on evidence-based teaching practices and active learning […]

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Learning with Commercial Games

Reginald T. Gardner, Department of Informatics How Videogames Teach Videogames often use reward and punishment systems, grading systems, soft resets, and other techniques to push players towards learning specific skills in order to proceed in their games. The most known example is Super Mario Bros’ level 1-1. In the first few frames of the game, designers illicit behaviors from players. Mario is positioned on the left but cannot travel any […]

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Should Music be Used in the Classroom to Help Students Learn?

Michelle E. Zuñiga, Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy To engage students, instructors have adopted a multitude of innovative learning activities. These activities include group work, flipped classroom, think, pair, share, and many more. Rarely, however, is music proposed as an aspect of learning in the classroom. I seek to highlight how music in general can be used to enhance learning in the classroom. Using Music to Enhance the […]

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Promoting Student Agency and Learning Through Specifications Grading

Chris Woods, Department of Chemistry The current grading paradigm has been seldom challenged for a long time, and for many, leaves much to be desired. The assignment of grades can be a cause of trepidation for many educators. Many students feel that they do not earn a grade as much as it is ‘given’ based on subjective criteria. Students feel encouraged to prioritize points and partial credit over subject mastery, […]

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Preparing the Environmental Professionals of the Future: Backwards Design in Environmental Studies

Paroma Wagle, Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy Learning about sustainability, climate change, and environmental justice, the ‘wicked problems’ of the environment, is absolutely crucial for students, as they will not only go on maybe select careers in environment and policy fields, but also are going to be decision-makers in their own fields and consumers. Our day-to-day decisions as well as broader policies are closely connected to environmental concerns. […]

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Taking Modern Pedogogy into the Large Classroom

Marc Sprague-Piercy, Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry The current thinking in pedagogy is moving away from the traditional classroom model. In the traditional classroom for large classes of undergraduates there is a clear plan. The students are given a series of readings that are to be done before or after the class, there are 3 or so hours of lecture a week, and then there are two to three […]

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Adding the EPIC to Education

Emily M. Slonecker, M.A, Department of Psychological Science What is your first thought when you hear the word “icebreaker”? If your first thought is the sound of 200 students groaning in unison, you just might be an educator. There is growing body of evidence to suggest that active learning techniques, like the ever-dreaded icebreaker, are highly beneficial when incorporated into higher education classrooms (Wieman, 2014). Yet, many students remain resistant to […]

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How to Evaluate Individual Work Within a Group Project; Group-Individual Projects May Help!

Negin Sattari, Department of Cognitive Sciences Group Versus Individual Project Often students’ faces announce dissatisfaction when a group project is proposed during the first session of the class as a part of the final examination. The complaints are mainly coming from hard-working students who doubt that other group members work as hard as they do. This guard against group projects is even more stressed among college students who may not […]

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Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education

Juan R. Sandoval, Department of Social Ecology The Current State of “Diversity” and “Inclusion” According to a report by the U.S. Department of Education (2019), whites make up approximately eighty percent of the full-time professoriate in the United States. Furthermore, white graduate students make up a little over sixty percent of those enrolled in graduate education, including a master’s, doctoral, law, medicine, or dentistry program. Similarly, in 2017, at UC […]

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