To Lecture or Not to Lecture

With wider adoption of flipped classroom techniques at colleges and universities around the country, some faculty members feel that the lecture has lost its luster. Flipped classrooms rely on students to complete readings and watch lecture videos outside of class with traditional homework-type assignments, short lectures or demonstrations by the professor done in class. In spring 2014 Alex Small, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, discussed the lecture as a mainstay of instruction. Small states that it doesn’t matter if students are required to read a text or watch a video before attending class; the most important thing is…

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When Students Want to be Told the Answers

DbSerc recently sponsored a workshop by Eric Brewe, a physics education expert from Florida International University, who talked about the importance of having students review several representations of a concept in order to deduce the larger model. Rather than explain a principle such as “oscillation,” he recommended having students observe different instances of oscillating objects, discover the underlying principle, and work together to develop their own model to explain the principle. Discovery learning can be an effective way to teach. Advocates of this approach recognize that the success of instruction depends on the development and sequencing of the tasks presented…

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Student Opinion of Teaching Surveys

The Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching (OMET) administers more than ten thousand Student Opinion of Teaching Surveys each academic year. That translates to more than half a million emails sent to students asking them to complete their Student Opinion of Teaching Surveys. What prompts them to respond? Much of the research concludes that faculty engagement has the biggest impact on increasing student responses. Students are more likely to participate when they are aware of how important their feedback is to their instructors. Students receive reminder emails and Tweets from our office and see ads and banners throughout campus,…

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