10 Strategies for Enhancing Learning in Introductory Subjects


Extract from Issue#20 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU

All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link

10 Strategies for Enhancing Learning in Introductory Courses
By Dr Barbara Jacoby
Source: https://www.magnapubs.com/magna-commons/?video=3076
(See below for instructions on how to access the CSU free subscription to this resource).

QUOTE: “Teaching is leading students into a situation they can only escape by thinking”.

– attributed to University of Maryland colleague of Dr Jacoby.

With this week’s focus on Question 4 of the SES in mind, the content from Dr Jacoby in this webinar addresses challenges associated with teaching compulsory introductory subjects. Most strategies are relevant across any level of a course, with a few that are specific for new students. They can be applied in online and blended classes, although the primary focus is on face-to-face learning and teaching.

Four common challenges are identified as “cases” and strategies to address each case are outlined in this 60-minute webinar.

1. The Case of the Disappearing Students

Strategy 1: Tell students what they should learn; give them early and frequent feedback

Strategy 2: Make learning useful and relevant

Strategy 3: Ask students frequently for feedback about their learning

2. The Case of Blaming the Students

Strategy 4: Managing cognitive Load by providing structures for learning

Strategy 5: Helping students learn through metacognition

3. The Case of the 1,000-yard Stare (aka, the Case of the Zombie Students)

Strategy 6: Don’t make it only about content

Strategy 7: Offer a variety of ways to learn

Strategy 8: Teach students to ask questions instead of only answering them

4. The Case of Pedagogy Overload Syndrome

Strategy 9: Don’t feel you have to embrace every new teaching strategy

Strategy 10: Use technology, but not as a panacea

The drawing out of each strategy includes useful examples and resources. The main points of Strategy 2 are an indicator of what you can expect.

Strategy 2: Make learning useful and relevant

  • Let students know why we fell in love with our discipline to begin with – INSPIRE
  • Use important social issues that affect students in their context
  • Create a learning environment that: Is personally meaningful to students & faculty; Suggests practical applications related to students’ experience;
  • Example:
  1. SENCER http://sencer.net/ Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities – has a large range of resources to prompt your thinking and examples of model subjects.
  2. PKAL – Project Kaleidoscope – https://www.aacu.org/pkal – STEM resources.

The Supplementary Materials include mapping and rubric development templates and examples and an extensive list of references.

RECOMMENDED PUBLICATION: Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning – available through CSU Library, Volume 50 is current for 2018.

At CSU, you can get expert help with developing rubrics by submitting a SRS request, or by contacting the Assessment Leads in the Division of Learning and Teaching. For rubrics, check out the range of self-help resources on the Assessment, Moderation and Benchmarking website.

Presentation handouts, full transcripts and supplementary resources are available for download from the Magna Commons website if you don’t have time to listen to the seminar.