Small Teaching Tip #16: Structured Discussion Formats

“I’m tired of looking out at a sea of blank faces.” “There’s nothing but crickets when I try to get a discussion going.” “It’s like talking to a brick wall!” How many times have you lamented the quality of discussions in your classes? Facilitating engaging conversations is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching…

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What I Learned from “Make it Stick”

Much of our understanding about how we learn is flawed.  The typical advice given to students is single-minded, focused repetition, reflecting the belief that if we expose ourselves to something enough, we can burn it into memory.  This is called “massed practice” by cognitive scientists and “cramming” by students. Given this advice, it should come…

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Small Teaching Tip #13: Building Stronger Learning Communities

In higher education, teaching is often perceived simply as the transmission of knowledge and that can contribute to our focus on content delivery at the expense of other elements of effective teaching.  Educational philosopher John Dewey argued that effective teachers do more than deliver content to their students.  They also value learning by doing rather…

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