Post Tagged with: "STEM"

Rethinking the Physics Classroom: 4 Tools to Consider

Francisco J. Mercado, Department of Physics & Astronomy When we think about a physics classroom, more often than not, the picture that comes to mind is an ‘all-knowing’ professor standing at the front of a classroom writing on a blackboard while some of the students behind them are vigorously taking notes struggling to keep up. Others are attempting to complete the difficult problem set that they have to turn in by […]

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Increasing Student Autonomy and Engagement in Biology Education at the Undergraduate and Graduate Level

 Lianna Fung, Developmental and Cell Biology A typical traditional biology course at the undergraduate level is primarily lecture and a few exams. Lecture time is often only broken up periodically by a few iClicker questions or a few brave students who dare to ask questions. Further down the educational line, a similar environment occurs in graduate courses, called journal clubs, where students are assigned papers and present them to a […]

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Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) 2020 Conference

Matthew Mahavongtrakul, PhD, Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation I attended the AAC&U 2020 conference this January in Washington, DC, which focused on three topics: Inclusive education using equitable, innovative, and cost-effective models. Public trust in higher education given rising tuition costs Pathways to student success across disciplines at 2- and 4-year institutions In this post, I highlight what I took away from the conference, focusing on faculty development, undergraduate […]

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Instructing Mathematics to Students With Wide Ranges in Prior Knowledge

David Clausen, Department of Mathematics When teaching introductory college math courses, one finds a wide variety of students. In a calculus class, you might have people majoring in mathematics who need a conceptual understanding of “why” as well as facility with computations. They might be sitting next to students in STEM fields for which it is a prerequisite who will be more focused on using the material solve problems from […]

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An Assignment to Promote the Achievements of Diverse Scholars

Amanda R. Brown Tortorici, MS, RD, CSCS, PhD Candidate in Public Health Diversity in the 1980’s I remember being in elementary school in the late 80’s in suburban Pennsylvania, and I had a project to create a poster of female leaders of my choice. We were in the month of March, and our teacher wanted us to recognize the accomplishments of successful women in celebration of Women’s History Month. My […]

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The Changing Role of University STEM Teaching in the Internet Era

Chris Persichilli, PhD, Department of Physics & Astronomy The Problem These are unstable times. The insurgence of the Internet into all facets of modern life has had a transformative impact on every industry, whether they like it or not. Education is no exception, of course; and with the continued reduction in barriers to knowledge brought on by the information age, there are questions about the role and utility of traditional university […]

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Can You Explain That 3 More Times? Advice for Universal Instruction

Daniel J. Ruiz, Department of Earth System Science After asking someone to repeat themselves multiple times and still not hear what they’ve said on the 3rd iteration, I’m the type to give up, smile and nod, and be overcome with embarrassment of the whole exchange. Too often do our students feel this way after asking their peers, TAs, and instructors questions only to get the same explanation and sheepishly give […]

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Active Learning in Computer Science

Caio Batista de Melo, Department of Computer Science Active Learning is an already popular concept, and a lot of instructors are familiar with it. However, there were very few times I have taken a Computer Science (CS) class that was not based only on lectures. Why is that? Back in 1996, McConnell [1] explored the effects and usefulness of active learning in CS. In this work, the author proposes the […]

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Student-Centered Course Design Improves Learning Outcomes in Biology

Andra Ionescu Tucker, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior Biology courses, particularly for first year college students, are taught in a traditional lecture format at most research universities. As a teaching assistant for such a class, I have observed how easy it is for students to disengage and how challenging it is for them to decipher complex topics. Recent studies indicate that putting the focus on student learning, as opposed to […]

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Acknowledging Intersectional Identities within STEM Higher Education Classrooms

Hayley Glicker, Department of Chemistry Without recognizing students’ varying intersectional identities, students will not feel supported by their educator and feel alienated from their community. A memory of this occurred in my senior seminar/thesis course in my undergraduate institution. This course brought together different majors, so there were a few students that I have never met or interacted with. A student asked if, as a part of student introductions, students […]

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