Better Teaching with Less Time and Stress: Improving Teaching Efficiency and Effectiveness



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Better Teaching with Less Time and Stress: Improving Teaching Efficiency and Effectiveness

  • FAU Faculty Workshop
  • February 27, 2004
  • Lynn Appleton
  • College of Arts & Letters
  • Timothy Lenz Teaching Learning Center
  • Thomas Pusateri
  • Assessment Director

Memory: Experts v. Novices What are some implications of these differences for effective teaching?

  • Differences in prior knowledge
  • Amount of information in attention span
  • Organization of memory Implications?
  • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  • Reduce content: Don’t “cover the book”!
  • Focus on key concepts
  • Provide a brief outline
  • Consider the course’s purpose in context (Prerequisite? Gen Ed? Attract majors?)

How People Learn Bransford, Brown & Cocking (2000) http://www.nap.edu/books/0309070368/html/

  • What are the implications for teaching?
  • Students enter courses with preconceptions
  • Building student competence requires:
  • “Teach” through understanding “learning”
    • Articulate learning goals
    • Help students monitor their progress

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) (Angelo & Cross, 1993)

  • Prior knowledge
    • Misconception/Preconception Check (#3)
  • Recall & Understanding
    • Minute Paper (#6)
  • Skill in applying information
    • Application Cards (#23)
  • Locating other CATs
    • http://iea.fau.edu/pusateri/assess/pedagogy.htm

Misconception check What are some common misconceptions or preconceptions by students in your discipline?

  • EXAMPLE: Astronomy
  • What makes seasons change?
  • Common student responses:
  • The weather
  • The distance between the
  • earth and sun changes
  • The tilt of the earth
  • I don’t know
  • Only one response is correct.
  • http://www.flaguide.org/cat/diagnostic/diagnostic7.htm
  • Adopt this CAT:
  • Start of lecture on topic
  • Ungraded T/F, M/C, or Short Essay test
  • Explain the CAT’s purpose to students

Measuring recall and understanding: The Minute Paper

  • What was the most important point?
  • What was the muddiest point?
  • What question remains unanswered?
  • - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  • End of class: Collect & Summarize
  • Middle of class: Think – Pair – Share – Report
  • Frequency (Not necessarily every class)
  • Adapting to large classes
  • http://www.flaguide.org/cat/minutepapers/minutepapers7.htm

Skills in applying information: Application cards

  • Example from psychology: How are parts of the brain used while driving?
  • Cerebellum Motor Cortex
  • Occipital lobe Somatosensory cortex
  • Hippocampus Amygdala
  • Think about a difficult topic from your own class. How might you use application cards for presenting that topic?
  • http://www.siue.edu/~deder/assess/cats/apps9.html

Angelo’s recommendations

  • Don't use them if you can’t/won’t change.
  • Collect only what you’ll process by next class.
  • Don't simply adopt CATs; adapt them.
  • Use CATs only if you can imagine their benefits.
  • Promote a self-fulfilling prophecy: Explain why you use CATs. Students will likely follow along.
  • Teach students how to give useful feedback.
  • Tell them how you’ll adapt to what you learned.

Teaching efficiency: Scoring Rubrics

  • Example of a rubric on writing
  • Writing and grading essays (handout)
  • Steps in designing a rubric:
    • Identify major categories for grading
    • Identify levels for each category (3 or 4)
    • Determine point values for each level
    • http://www.flaguide.org/cat/rubrics/rubrics7.htm
  • Online examples: Rubistar http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php


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