Today is Active Learning Day!

activelearningday-croppedIn an effort to raise awareness of active learning pedagogies, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has declared October 25, 2016, Active Learning Day.

Active learning strategies proactively engage students’ minds on relevant concepts through in-class discussions and activities. By participating in active learning exercises, students receive formative feedback on their comprehension of course concepts in real-time. Knowing which concepts students grasp and which concepts students struggle with allows instructors to adapt their lesson plans and maximize the precious face-to-face time they have with their students.

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What Sticks Out From Make It Stick

9780674729018With the expansion of access to the internet and the launch of the “Information Age,” some educators began to argue that the focus of learning should not be retrieval from memory. Instead, they called for a focus on teaching students how to access and use the vast amount of information available at their fingertips. However, others pushed back on the idea that memorization is no longer important. In their book Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel support this argument and present ideas on right (and wrong) strategies for learning.

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A Practical Review of a Practical Book

If you teach STEM courses in higher ed, Felder and Brent’s Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide is worth checking out. It’s essentially a one-stop shop for what you need to know to design and teach a course effectively. felder brent tl stem coverThe book is filled with tips, examples, answers to common teaching questions, and citations of the relevant teaching and learning literature. It’s very skimmable and written in easy-to-read language. It covers topics such as writing learning objectives, planning for your class/lab sessions, active learning, ed tech, and how to help your students develop professional skills. Information on neuroscience and the science of learning is sprinkled throughout in sections called “Brainwaves”.

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Support for your Fall Semester Teaching

The beginning of the Fall semester just a couple weeks away. Are you stressing about teaching a new course, teaching for the first time, or teaching at MIT for the first time?  The Teaching and Learning Lab is here to support you in your teaching, whether you’veDipa_CEEworkshop been teaching for years, or are just getting started!  Staff from TLL are also available to help create customized department-based workshops to serve the needs of groups of faculty, students, or postdocs in a particular discipline.

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