Archives—November 2014

Resource Index for Learner-Centered Teaching Methods

Submitted by Mike Meyer, Director of the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

As instructors move toward more learner-centered teaching methods, the “flipped classroom” has gotten lots of press.  But “flipping” is more than just recording videos.  The expectation is that delivering content outside of class will free up time for more engaged learning in the classroom.

A great topical index of methods, ideas, and articles related to learner-centered teaching methods can be found on the webpage of the the North Central College’s Center for Teaching and Learning (http://northcentralcollege.edu/academics/academic-affairs/center-teaching-and-learning/teaching-methods).  The index ranges from tips on interactive lecturing to getting students to participate in discussions, but also includes good articles on teaching critical thinking and collaborative (group) techniques.

I encourage you to survey the site and explore one topic or article related to some aspect of your teaching.  If you’d like to discuss it afterwards, e-mail ctl@mtu.edu  or feel free to stop by the William G. Jackson Center forTeaching and Learning (http://www.mtu.edu/ctl/) in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, room 219!


Remix-T: Resource for Media Rich Learning

Submitted by Mike Meyer, Director of the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

If you’re looking for new and different ways for students to interact with content, you will find a tremendous resource in Notre Dame’s  Remix-T.   This resource was created by Chris Clark, the Assistant Director and Learning Technologies Center Coordinator in the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning at Notre Dame University.  His goal is to help instructors explore options for “creating media-rich learning experiences,” either by having instructors create media or assigning projects where students do.

The site has a project gallery with a large number of example projects, including advice and tools for making videos, comics, timelines, a media “scavenger hunt”, and content enriched maps.  Instructors can also find a page full of inexpensive or free media tools that might be helpful in collecting, organizing, or creating media.

If you’d like to dialog about how media might enrich your course, mail ctl@mtu.edu  or feel free to stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, room 219!


PHET Interactive Simulations

Submitted by Mike Meyer, Director of the William G. Jackson CTL

Another simulation site that should be on every science and engineering instructor’s list is PhET.  Founded by Carl Wieman’s Nobel prize winnings, the University of Colorado Boulder has created highly-interactive simulation environments for a wide variety of basic systems, including forces and motion, earth sciences, chemistry, biology, fluids, vibrations, electromagnetism,  AC and DC circuits, thermodynamics, and general mathematics.

PHET sims generally have very low learning curves, so students can “jump in” and experiment with them on their own.  The sims therefore make excellent pre-lab exercises or introductions to topics.   PhET’s extensive educational research has helped focus the sims on addressing common scientific misconceptions held by students, and the site offers materials that guide use of the sims should you wish to provide more structure.

If PhET isn’t already on your radar, I hope you’ll take a look.  For more information about how these sims are being used in various places around campus, mail ctl@mtu.edu  or feel free to stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, room 219!