cshalizi + pedagogy   35

The Missing Course — David Gooblar | Harvard University Press
"College is changing, but the way we train academics is not. Most professors are still trained to be researchers first and teachers a distant second, even as scholars are increasingly expected to excel in the classroom.
"There has been a revolution in teaching and learning over the past generation, and we now have a whole new understanding of how the brain works and how students learn. But most academics have neither the time nor the resources to catch up to the latest research or train themselves to be excellent teachers. The Missing Course offers scholars at all levels a field guide to the state of the art in teaching and learning and is packed with invaluable insights to help students learn in any discipline.
"Wary of the folk wisdom of the faculty lounge, David Gooblar builds his lessons on the newest findings and years of experience. From active-learning strategies to course design to getting students talking, The Missing Course walks you through the fundamentals of the student-centered classroom, one in which the measure of success is not how well you lecture but how much students learn. Along the way, readers will find ideas and tips they can use in their classrooms right away."
to:NB  books:noted  pedagogy  academia 
10 weeks ago by cshalizi
Why They Can't Write
"There seems to be widespread agreement that—when it comes to the writing skills of college students—we are in the midst of a crisis. In Why They Can’t Write, John Warner, who taught writing at the college level for two decades, argues that the problem isn’t caused by a lack of rigor, or smartphones, or some generational character defect. Instead, he asserts, we’re teaching writing wrong.
"Warner blames this on decades of educational reform rooted in standardization, assessments, and accountability. We have done no more, Warner argues, than conditioned students to perform "writing-related simulations," which pass temporary muster but do little to help students develop their writing abilities. This style of teaching has made students passive and disengaged. Worse yet, it hasn’t prepared them for writing in the college classroom. Rather than making choices and thinking critically, as writers must, undergraduates simply follow the rules—such as the five-paragraph essay—designed to help them pass these high-stakes assessments.
"In Why They Can’t Write, Warner has crafted both a diagnosis for what ails us and a blueprint for fixing a broken system. Combining current knowledge of what works in teaching and learning with the most enduring philosophies of classical education, this book challenges readers to develop the skills, attitudes, knowledge, and habits of mind of strong writers."
to:NB  books:noted  writing_advice  pedagogy 
december 2018 by cshalizi
Does Classroom Time Matter? A Randomized Field Experiment of Hybrid and Traditional Lecture Formats in Economics
"We test whether students in a hybrid format of introductory microeconomics, which met once per week, performed as well as students in a traditional lecture format of the same class, which met twice per week. We randomized 725 students at a large, urban public university into the two formats, and unlike past studies, had a very high participation rate of 96 percent. Two experienced professors taught one section of each format, and students in both formats had access to the same online materials. We find that students in the traditional format scored 2.3 percentage points more on a 100-point scale on the combined midterm and final. There were no differences between formats in non-cognitive effort (attendance, time spent with online materials) nor in withdrawal from the class. Comparing our experimental estimates of the effect of attendance with non-experimental estimates using only students in the traditional format, we find that the non-experimental were 2.5 times larger, suggesting that the large effects of attending lectures found in the previous literature are likely due to selection bias. Overall our results suggest that hybrid classes may offer a cost effective alternative to traditional lectures while having a small impact on student performance."
to:NB  pedagogy 
october 2018 by cshalizi
The flipped classroom and cooperative learning: Evidence from a randomised experiment - Njål Foldnes, 2016
"This article describes a study which compares the effectiveness of the flipped classroom relative to the traditional lecture-based classroom. We investigated two implementations of the flipped classroom. The first implementation did not actively encourage cooperative learning, with students progressing through the course at their own pace. With this implementation, student examination scores did not differ between the lecture classes and the flipped classroom. The second implementation was organised with cooperative learning activities. In a randomised control-group pretest-posttest experiment, student scores on a post-test and on the final examination were significantly higher for the flipped classroom group than for the control group receiving traditional lectures. This demonstrates that the classroom flip, if properly implemented with cooperative learning, can lead to increased academic performance."

--- Err, so no experimental condition with cooperative activities AND traditional lectures?
to:NB  pedagogy  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial 
october 2018 by cshalizi
Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options | The National Academies Press
"Data science is emerging as a field that is revolutionizing science and industries alike. Work across nearly all domains is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and the skills that are required. As more data and ways of analyzing them become available, more aspects of the economy, society, and daily life will become dependent on data. It is imperative that educators, administrators, and students begin today to consider how to best prepare for and keep pace with this data-driven era of tomorrow. Undergraduate teaching, in particular, offers a critical link in offering more data science exposure to students and expanding the supply of data science talent.
"Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options offers a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. This report outlines some considerations and approaches for academic institutions and others in the broader data science communities to help guide the ongoing transformation of this field."
to:NB  books:noted  statistics  pedagogy 
october 2018 by cshalizi
A study exploring the impact of lecture capture availability and lecture capture usage on student attendance and attainment | SpringerLink
"Lecture capture is widely used within higher education as a means of recording lecture material for online student viewing. However, there is some uncertainty around whether this is a uniformly positive development for students. The current study examines the impact of lecture capture introduction and usage in a compulsory second year research methods module in a undergraduate BSc degree. Data collected from a matched cohort before (N = 161) and after (N = 160) lecture capture introduction showed that attendance substantially dropped in three matched lectures after capture became available. Attendance, which predicts higher attainment (controlling for students’ previous grade and gender), mediates a negative relationship between lecture capture availability and attainment. Lecture capture viewing shows no significant relationship with attainment whilst factoring in lecture attendance; capture viewing also fails to compensate for the impact that low attendance has on attainment. Thus, the net effect of lecture capture introduction on the cohort is generally negative; the study serves as a useful example (that can be communicated students) of the pitfalls of an over-reliance on lecture capture as a replacement for lecture attendance."

--- tl;dr: Butts in seats rules, OK?
education  pedagogy  via:jbdelong  i_want_to_believe 
september 2018 by cshalizi
Community of Scholars, Community of Teachers, Shapiro
"Academics routinely engage with colleagues in the research community as a critical part of their work. But, although many researchers are also dedicated teachers, teaching tends to be seen as a private matter between a teacher and his or her students. But why shouldn’t faculty members feel a similar impulse to be aware of what their colleagues are doing in the area of teaching? What do we miss when the conversation, especially at major research universities, is focused almost exclusively on research?
"In this revised and expanded collection of essays, Judith Shapiro, former president of Barnard College, issues an impassioned clarion call for a renewed focus on the role of community in teaching. When faculty members feel that they are not only a community of scholars, but also a community of teachers, teaching becomes more engaging for both students and teachers. Encouraging high-quality conversation about the pedagogical approaches that have proven most effective also puts the contributions of virtual, online communication into proper perspective and brings into clearer focus the advantages of a liberal arts education. With an argument that is controversial and sure to spark discussion and debate, Community of Scholars, Community of Teachers shows how higher education can become even more of a true community."
to:NB  books:noted  academia  education  pedagogy  social_life_of_the_mind 
november 2016 by cshalizi
The Impact of Computer Usage on Academic Performance: Evidence from a Randomized Trial at the United States Military Academy
"We present find­ings from a study that pro­hib­ited com­puter devices in ran­domly selected class­rooms of an intro­duc­tory eco­nom­ics course at the United States Military Academy. Average final exam scores among stu­dents assigned to class­rooms that allowed com­put­ers were 18 per­cent of a stan­dard devi­a­tion lower than exam scores of stu­dents in class­rooms that pro­hib­ited com­put­ers. Through the use of two sep­a­rate treat­ment arms, we uncover evi­dence that this neg­a­tive effect occurs in class­rooms where lap­tops and tablets are per­mit­ted with­out restric­tion and in class­rooms where stu­dents are only per­mit­ted to use tablets that must remain flat on the desk surface."
teaching  pedagogy  experimental_sociology  computers  to_read 
may 2016 by cshalizi
Why is it so hard to increase learning?
Some of this is disputable. (For instance, the affection for group projects, and missing the fact that, when teachers genuinely know more than students, having "360 degree" reviews is very dubious.) But it's heart is in the right place.
teaching  pedagogy  education  academia  via:?  have_read 
march 2016 by cshalizi
Teaching critical thinking
"The ability to make decisions based on data, with its inherent uncertainties and variability, is a complex and vital skill in the modern world. The need for such quantitative critical thinking occurs in many different contexts, and although it is an important goal of education, that goal is seldom being achieved. We argue that the key element for developing this ability is repeated practice in making decisions based on data, with feedback on those decisions. We demonstrate a structure for providing suitable practice that can be applied in any instructional setting that involves the acquisition of data and relating that data to scientific models. This study reports the results of applying that structure in an introductory physics laboratory course. Students in an experimental condition were repeatedly instructed to make and act on quantitative comparisons between datasets, and between data and models, an approach that is common to all science disciplines. These instructions were slowly faded across the course. After the instructions had been removed, students in the experimental condition were 12 times more likely to spontaneously propose or make changes to improve their experimental methods than a control group, who performed traditional experimental activities. The students in the experimental condition were also four times more likely to identify and explain a limitation of a physical model using their data. Students in the experimental condition also showed much more sophisticated reasoning about their data. These differences between the groups were seen to persist into a subsequent course taken the following year."

--- I'm dubious that this is really "critical thinking", but it does sound, from the abstract, like something worth teaching.
to:NB  pedagogy  statistics  science 
october 2015 by cshalizi
Philip Guo - Helping my students overcome command-line bullshittery
I dunno, there's a kind of deliberately-arcane beauty to the Unix command line
programming  pedagogy  to:blog  have_read 
september 2015 by cshalizi
Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away… — Medium
I think Clay actually misses a trick here. A computer is a really useful note-taking device, and writing notes helps you remember (even if you don't consult the notes). What is really needed, for instructional purposes, is a switch we can throw which jams all wifi signals. (I actually tried to get the computing lab to block Internet access during my class hour, but they said it was technically infeasible.)
teaching  pedagogy  education  attention  networked_life  shirky.clay 
february 2015 by cshalizi
Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering | The National Academies Press
"The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate and engage students will improve their learning. So how do students best learn science and engineering? Are there ways of thinking that hinder or help their learning process? Which teaching strategies are most effective in developing their knowledge and skills? And how can practitioners apply these strategies to their own courses or suggest new approaches within their departments or institutions? Reaching Students strives to answer these questions.
"Reaching Students presents the best thinking to date on teaching and learning undergraduate science and engineering. Focusing on the disciplines of astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, and physics, this book is an introduction to strategies to try in your classroom or institution. Concrete examples and case studies illustrate how experienced instructors and leaders have applied evidence-based approaches to address student needs, encouraged the use of effective techniques within a department or an institution, and addressed the challenges that arose along the way.
"The research-based strategies in Reaching Students can be adopted or adapted by instructors and leaders in all types of public or private higher education institutions. They are designed to work in introductory and upper-level courses, small and large classes, lectures and labs, and courses for majors and non-majors. And these approaches are feasible for practitioners of all experience levels who are open to incorporating ideas from research and reflecting on their teaching practices. This book is an essential resource for enriching instruction and better educating students."
in_NB  books:noted  to_read  pedagogy 
january 2015 by cshalizi
The War on Learning | The MIT Press
"Behind the lectern stands the professor, deploying course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, PowerPoint slides, podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. In the seats are the students, armed with smartphones, laptops, tablets, music players, and social networking. Although these two forces seem poised to do battle with each other, they are really both taking part in a war on learning itself. In this book, Elizabeth Losh examines current efforts to “reform” higher education by applying technological solutions to problems in teaching and learning. She finds that many of these initiatives fail because they treat education as a product rather than a process. Highly touted schemes—video games for the classroom, for example, or the distribution of iPads—let students down because they promote consumption rather than intellectual development.
"Losh analyzes recent trends in postsecondary education and the rhetoric around them, often drawing on first-person accounts. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs (massive open online courses), the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures (from Randy Pausch to “the Baked Professor”), and educational virtual worlds. Finally, Losh outlines six basic principles of digital learning and describes several successful university-based initiatives. Her book will be essential reading for campus decision makers—and for anyone who cares about education and technology."
in_NB  books:noted  education  academia  pedagogy 
november 2014 by cshalizi
An Evaluation of Course Evaluations
"Student ratings of teaching have been used, studied, and debated for almost a century. This article examines student ratings of teaching from a statistical perspective. The common practice of relying on averages of student teaching evaluation scores as the primary measure of teaching effectiveness for promotion and tenure decisions should be abandoned for substantive and statistical reasons: There is strong evidence that student responses to questions of “effectiveness” do not measure teaching effectiveness. Response rates and response variability matter. And comparing averages of categorical responses, even if the categories are represented by numbers, makes little sense. Student ratings of teaching are valuable when they ask the right questions, report response rates and score distributions, and are balanced by a variety of other sources and methods to evaluate teaching."
education  academia  pedagogy  statistics  social_measurement  stark.philip_b.  have_read  we_can_look  in_NB  to:blog 
september 2014 by cshalizi
West Coast Stat Views (on Observational Epidemiology and more): PISA and the original Sputnik moment
"I see lots of movement reformers (including the president) making a connection between the way we're reacting to our PISA scores and the way we reacted to Sputnik. This is odd, not because the comparison isn't apt, but because this seems to be a case of alluding to the joke and forgetting the punchline.
"The most notable thing about the reaction to the original Sputnik Moment was how completely misguided it was. The Soviets weren't surging ahead of us in aerospace, let alone in science in general. American education wasn't failing to produce first-rate scientists and engineers; if anything, we were seeing a tremendous run of talent and innovation. The most notable pedagogical response (new math) not only didn't dramatically improve math and science education; it was widely seen as a failure and was largely abandoned a few years later.
"Sputnik did help to increase the amount of money we were spending on space exploration (and gave then-Senator Johnson a wonderful propaganda tool for his pet cause). It also freed up generous funding for other research initiatives like DARPA. All that cash certainly had a strong positive (though generally indirect) impact on science education, but in terms of education reform, the Sputnik crisis was basically a misconception leading to a fiasco.
"With that in mind, when people talk about this being "our Sputnik Moment," my biggest fear is that they might be right."

- Well, yes, but as fiascos go, helping enable a golden age of discovery is better than most.
education  us_politics  pedagogy 
december 2013 by cshalizi
What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain - Powell's Books
"What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.
"The short answer is--it's not what teachers do, it's what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out--but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn."

--- I hope devoutly that they collected a matched sample of _ineffective_ teachers before writing this.
books:noted  pedagogy  teaching  academia  education  in_NB  books:owned 
june 2013 by cshalizi
What the Best College Students Do by Ken Bain - Powell's Books
"The first thing they should do? Think beyond the transcript. The creative, successful people profiled in this book--college graduates who went on to change the world we live in--aimed higher than straight A's. They used their four years to cultivate habits of thought that would enable them to grow and adapt throughout their lives.
"Combining academic research on learning and motivation with insights drawn from interviews with people who have won Nobel Prizes, Emmys, fame, or the admiration of people in their field, Ken Bain identifies the key attitudes that distinguished the best college students from their peers. These individuals started out with the belief that intelligence and ability are expandable, not fixed. This led them to make connections across disciplines, to develop a "meta-cognitive" understanding of their own ways of thinking, and to find ways to negotiate ill-structured problems rather than simply looking for right answers. Intrinsically motivated by their own sense of purpose, they were not demoralized by failure nor overly impressed with conventional notions of success. These movers and shakers didn't achieve success by making success their goal. For them, it was a byproduct of following their intellectual curiosity, solving useful problems, and taking risks in order to learn and grow."
in_NB  books:noted  pedagogy  education  academia 
june 2013 by cshalizi
Making Scientists: Six Principles for Effective College Teaching by Gregory Light - Powell's Books
"For many college students, studying the hard sciences seems out of the question. Students and professors alike collude in the prejudice that physics and molecular biology, mathematics and engineering are elite disciplines restricted to a small number with innate talent. Gregory Light and Marina Micari reject this bias, arguing, based on their own transformative experiences, that environment is just as critical to academic success in the sciences as individual ability. Making Scientists lays the groundwork for a new paradigm of how scientific subjects can be taught at the college level, and how we can better cultivate scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals.
"The authors invite us into Northwestern University's Gateway Science Workshop, where the seminar room is infused with a sense of discovery usually confined to the research lab. Conventional science instruction demands memorization of facts and formulas but provides scant opportunity for critical reflection and experimental conversation. Light and Micari stress conceptual engagement with ideas, practical problem-solving, peer mentoring, and--perhaps most important--initiation into a culture of cooperation, where students are encouraged to channel their energy into collaborative learning rather than competition with classmates. They illustrate the tangible benefits of treating students as apprentices--talented young people taking on the mental habits, perspectives, and wisdom of the scientific community, while contributing directly to its development."
to:NB  books:noted  pedagogy 
june 2013 by cshalizi
How should mathematics be taught to non-mathematicians? « Gowers's Weblog
"A couple of years ago there was an attempt to create a new mathematics A-level called Use of Mathematics. I criticized it heavily in a blog post, and stand by those criticisms, though interestingly it isn’t so much the syllabus that bothers me as the awful exam questions. One might think that a course called Use of Mathematics would teach you how to come up with mathematical models for real-life situations, but these questions did the opposite, and still do. They describe a real-life situation, then tell you that it “may be modelled” by some formula, and proceed to ask you questions that are purely mathematical, and extremely easy compared with A-level maths.
"One comment on that post particularly interested me, from someone called Joseph Malkevitch, who drew my attention to an article he had written in which he recommended a different kind of question both from the usual sort of symbolic manipulation that most people would think of as mathematics, and from the sterile questions on the Use of Mathematics papers that pretend to show that mathematics is relevant to real life but in fact do nothing of the kind. The main idea I took away from his article was that there is (or could be) a place for questions that start with the real world rather than starting with mathematics. In other words, when coming up with such a question, you would not ask yourself, “I wonder what real world problem I could ask that would require people to use this piece of mathematics,” but rather, “Here’s a situation that cries out to be analysed mathematically — but how?” "
education  mathematics  pedagogy  fermi_problems  gowers.timothy  via:? 
september 2012 by cshalizi
Harvard University Press: Teaching What You Don't Know by Therese Huston
"Your graduate work was on bacterial evolution, but now you're lecturing to 200 freshmen on primate social life. You've taught Kant for twenty years, but now you're team-teaching a new course on “Ethics and the Internet.” The personality theorist retired and wasn't replaced, so now you, the neuroscientist, have to teach the "Sexual Identity" course. Everyone in academia knows it and no one likes to admit it: faculty often have to teach courses in areas they don't know very well. The challenges are even greater when students don't share your cultural background, lifestyle, or assumptions about how to behave in a classroom."
books:noted  education  academia  pedagogy  presentation_of_self  rhetorical_self-fashioning  faking_it 
july 2009 by cshalizi
Maria Montessori: The 138-Year-Old Inspiration Behind Spore
This reminds me how much I benefited (I think) from my own Montessori schooling, and makes me feel guilty about my decidedly non-Montessori teaching. It does not, however, make me want to play video games.
montessori  education  video_games  simulation:instructional  pedagogy  via:alevin 
march 2009 by cshalizi
Uncertain Principles: Abstraction, Compartmentalization, and Education
Transfer of learning is a bitch. (Plus, there's a huge selection bias issue: professors are potentially atypical people for whom previous pedagogy _worked_. OF COURSE we don't get clueless students. [Who nonethless drive me up the wall.])
pedagogy  education  abstraction  transfer_of_learning 
april 2008 by cshalizi

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