Abstract: Spanish 321 is the first upper level cultural studies course than Spanish majors and minors take after three semesters of language courses. This class challenges students to develop analytical and critical thinking skills in the foreign language (specifically those of close reading). Until they come to SPA 321, students have been able to identify simple cultural similarities and differences between particular contexts. However, in their first encounter with historical content in Spanish, students are unable to recognize that control and access to information, class hierarchies, language, race, religion and other social factors have influenced the historical sources we access today.
As a means of developing analytical skills regarding Spanish cultural products and the power hierarchies imbedded in their writing, we decided to focus our lesson study on a chronicle finished around 1615 by indigenous Peruvian author Guamán Poma de Ayala, tiled Primer nueva crónica y buen gobierno. In this 800-page handwritten manuscript sent to King Philip III of Spain, Ayala creates a historical account of the Andes from the earliest human beings to the Incas and the Spanish conquest; and denounces the corruption and abuses of the Spanish toward the indigenous tribes. Ayala offers both text and illustrations to make this argument. For our lesson study we focused on Ayala’s illustration to design an introductory lesson, which challenged conceptions of History writing, authorship, and at the same time, introduced the study of language as a power structure.
]]>Abstract: The intent of this lesson study was to improve the content of the lecture and lab to add more career and professional materials to better prepare the students for their future. The new material added to the labs and case studies added to lecture led to a general improvement in student interest and focus compared to earlier semesters.
]]>Abstract: In 2012-2013, we undertook a lesson study to understand how student writers perceive peer comments and what value or usefulness they assign to them. In 2013-2014, we completed the second park of our planned study, during which we performed a similar observation of how students attempt to read, understand, and apply instructor comments.
We collected evidence of how students understand instructor comments, how they translate them into a process, and how they use the comments to evaluate their revisions. In order to make student learning visible, we observed how students read comments that we as instructors have written in the margins and at the end of a typical paper assignment, and we asked them to paraphrase our comments, to assign them a value for priority in the revision process, and to describe how they would go about revising based on the instructor critique. We evaluated how accurately the students described the revision we had suggested, assessed how self-aware the writers were regarding the need for revision in their writing, and attempted to determine how able and willing they were to apply instructor critique to future writing scenarios.
Student Interpretation and Application of Instructor Writing Comments – Full Report and Appendices
]]>Abstract: The History Department has selected the General Education Student Learning Outcome (SLO), “Explain how content is shaped by the context in which it was created” for assessment in all sections of HIS 101 and 102. For historians this learning outcome means making a persuasive argument about was a particular source allows them to understand about the historical setting in which it was created. Our main goal was to encourage students to analyze the primary source and explain why its author chose to write in the way he did during his historical context-influenced lifetime. In this way, students would not merely describe the historical setting; instead, they would think critically about how context informed the actual primary source and why its author wrote in a certain manner and expressed certain arguments. Our observations revealed that many students had difficulty in comprehending the author’s strategies that were specific to the historical context. Most students who could understand strategy relied on the easiest of strategies only: the author’s appeal to emotion and in use of vivid detail. Their analysis was mainly rooted in present-day values, i.e. “slavery is bad.” In addition, many students could not make use of their understanding of the relevant historical context in a way that explains an author’s arguments and strategies.
Analyzing how context shapes content – Full Report and Appendices
]]>Abstract: We approached this lesson study as a way to research how we as History Department faculty can better meet our goal of teaching students in freshmen world history courses (HIS 101 and HIS 102) how to comprehend, interpret, and express relationships between given texts or content on the one hand, and the contexts constructing and informing texts on the other. This is the learning outcome that we assess for General Education. We often find it difficult to encourage students to engage texts in a such a way that they produce meaning instead of merely repeating information. Using Julie Weiskopf’s online (Fall) and hybrid (Spring) course as our laboratory, our first semester impression was that in order to meet the goal in question we need to primarily – nearly exclusively – focus on promoting students’ orientation towards interpretation or analysis of texts, which is contrary to their overwhelming tendency to merely summarize. Our efforts were rewarded with better student writing during the second semester. As a result of our lesson study, Gerry Iguchi, Pat Stovey, and Weiskopf have a better perspective regarding how to advance our students’ capacities to creatively and insightfully interpret rather than mechanically repeat information. In short, we have learned that we need to say “don’t summarize, analyze.” We have also learned that we need to focus on better explaining and modeling what analysis is. We will share our insights and the results our our now increasingly inspired further experimentation towards these sends in course at the 100, 200, and 300-400 levels with the rest of the History Department.
Lesson Study Analysis of Primary Source Contextualization – Full Report
]]>To make the process of giving feedback efficient, we developed a database of comments on student writing which were specific to the objectives of the assignment. There are seven goals of the introduction assignment, some of which are specific to an introduction section of a research project, such as “State the purpose of your research project”, and some of which are very general, such as “Communicate in a clear and meaningful way.” Using these goals as the traits for a rubric, we developed a set of feedback comments that align to each goal suggesting improvements or noting when the objective was met. While the comments are specific enough to address specific goals of the
assignment and common writing problems, they were general enough so that they could be used for any student’s writing for the given assignment. We use text expanding software (Breevy for Windows, TextExpander for Mac) that allows the instructor to quickly populate a letter to each student with a set of comments appropriate for their submission.
Our classroom investigation revealed some challenges in giving feedback that effectively guides students on how to revise their work. One significant example concerns how students communicate purpose. While students may have attempted to communicate a specific purpose in one part of their introduction, often the introduction as a whole lacked focus. Even after receiving feedback, students were largely unable to recognize this problem or understand what kind of revision was appropriate.
]]>Abstract: During our time working with students in CHM 104 [General Chemistry II], we have observed that concepts related to acid-base equilibrium are particularly challenging for students. Even after a significant amount of lecture and laboratory instruction, students still appear to have only a superficial understanding of the topic at the completion of the course. Therefore, the main goal of this study was to improve students’ understanding of the relationships between acids and bases and their conjugates, one of the most fundamental aspects of acid-base chemistry. This goal was approached by modifying the first lab experiment to deal with acid-base chemistry (Experiment #5). Students typically arrive to a lab period having skimmed the experiment procedure at best. Therefore, the instructor spends a significant amount of instruction time (~45 min) discussing the theory behind the experiment, as well as practical aspects of the lab. By removing the bulk of the pre-lab instruction out of the set experiment time (3 hours), and also asking students to complete work before they attended the lab, we hoped to focus their attention to the outcomes of the experiment having come to lab more prepared than in the past. Through this lesson study we found the modifications made to the experiment were useful in allowing the students to demonstrate their proficiency with equation writing skills, and also reinforced their understanding of many of the differences between acids and bases. However, common misunderstandings surrounding pKa, pKb, and pH we not fully addressed and still need some attention.
]]>Abstract: For the first part of the lesson students played a game called the Isle of Ted. Many collective action problems arise as part of the game and students unwittingly make choices that add to the overall lesson. The second part of the game is an interactive lecture that unpacks the lessons in the game and offers additional examples of collective action problems. Our findings suggest that allowing students to experience collective action problems first hand while playing the game allows them to apply the lesson to American National Government. Lesson Study in Political Science: Collective Action Lesson Study (Full Report)
]]>Abstract: This lesson study aimed to better understand the process students use to evaluate information in a SWOT analysis. The ultimate goal was for the students to be able to identify what makes for a good SWOT analysis and to use this knowledge to successfully develop a team SWOT analysis. For the lesson, students reviewed three example SWOT analyses, were asked to identify strengths and weaknesses, and to develop criteria for a good SWOT analysis. Observers noted the students’ discussion points and process of approaching the task. Findings revealed that students focused on superficial details of the examples, rather than on content or the quality of information. Additionally, team members did not appear to engage in debate or critique one another’s ideas. General conclusions and recommendations for future lesson studies are included.
]]>Abstract: The difference between the preterit and imperfect is a key intermediate grammatical concept in Spanish foreign language classes so this study aimed to observe student’s thought processes when analyzing it. Students would be given the task of completing a paragraph in the past that involved verbs in both tenses while the investigators walked around observing student’s strategies and methods of choosing either preterit or imperfect. Students were tasked with not only completing the verbs correctly but also discussing in groups and writing down the reason why they chose what they chose. Student’s discussions helped investigators learn that a few key words throughout the paragraph were causing confusion as to what the implications were for the students responsible for choosing between preterit and imperfect.
Spanish Lesson Study: Learning and Analyzing The Preterit and Imperfect (Full Report)
]]>Abstract: In order to understand how student writers perceive peer and instructor comments and what value or usefulness they assign to them, we observed students reading, understanding, and applying given comments to the revision of a text. Through observation we collected evidence of how students understand peer comments, how they translate them into a process, and how they use the comments to evaluate their revisions. To make student learning visible, we observed how peers offered revision comments on a paper written by a member of their group. For many of us, the habits and methods undertaken by student writers when they have peer and instructor comments in front of them are a mystery. We wonder how student writers read peer comments, what they recognize within them, and how they apply their reading of these comments to the revisions they make within the paper. We wish to understand what has happened when writers do not recognize meaningful content in peer comments or do not apply them to revision, and we wish we knew how this form of communication could be improved. In our lesson study, we observed students interpreting peer comments and making decisions about their applications. As a result, we have developed strategies for refining the peer critique process to the benefit of writers, readers, instructors, and the texts that students produce.
English Lesson Study: Student Interpretation and Application of Peer Writing Comments (Full Report)
]]>Abstract: Students frequently think about general education and foundational literature courses simply as requirements to fulfill. Our broader goal was to scaffold student thinking about the purpose, value, and necessity of literary study. We focused on three more specific goals: 1) to help students understand that both a “right answer” approach to interpretation and an “anything goes” approach are problematic; 2) to help students appreciate the positive value of ambiguity as something that invites multiple persuasive interpretations; and 3) to help them recognize that literary modes of thinking can be applicable to non-literary texts as well. Our observations revealed that some teams arrived quickly at single, closed interpretations whereas others generated new, persuasive readings of the poem. During the large group conversation, individuals generally were good at providing valid textual support for their interpretations. In subsequent classes students seemed more willing to entertain multiple interpretations and to challenge one another. Students seemed to have made progress with our first and second goals. We saw evidence for our third goal when students at the end of class started asking the question, what makes a text “literature” or not?
English Lesson Study: Framing Expectations for Literary Study (Final Report)
]]>Abstract: Introductory statistics classes typically emphasize computation and implementation procedures for a number of statistical tests. While it is essential to build these skills before achieving higher-order critical thinking skills, students often struggle in subsequent research methods courses when expected to select appropriate statistical tests to answer research questions. This requires an understanding of how statistical methods are related to one another; and to achieve this, students must develop a more advanced organization of knowledge. We designed a lesson to help students build a knowledge organization to achieve this outcome, and observed students to better understand their thought processes. We share our thought process map for selecting a statistical test, report on the impact it had for our students, and offer suggestions for improving the lesson. In addition, we describe the thought processes students used, both before and after being exposed to the thought process map, and identify sources of confusion revealed through the lesson study process. These include: when to apply an independent-samples test versus a paired-samples test, how the identification of scale of measurement led students to choose the wrong statistical method, the difficulty students had recognizing or defining what the variables in a problem were, and the lack of understanding of the difference between statistical language and colloquial language.
]]>Abstract: Upon completion of the lesson study of GI disorders, we desired to see students retain information about the GI disorders on the unit exam. In addition, in section one, we hoped to see this same information retention on the final exam at the end of the semester. Secondly, we wanted to see the students apply the GI information learned in this unit. The lesson study was designed in a case study format. The students could apply the GI knowledge that they gained through the assigned reading and their existing pathophysiological knowledge, in order to solve the case. Along with application of knowledge, we wanted the students to exhibit critical thinking skills. By designing the lesson study in such a way that the students did not have all of the information that they needed, we hoped that it would encourage and engage them to think about the case in a critical way, using their basic knowledge of pathophysiology. Finally, the remaining goal of the lesson study was to encourage students to problem solve and collaborate. The case was designed to require the student to work in groups on a three-part progressive case study. It would require teamwork, collaboration, and critical thinking to solve the case. Developing teamwork and collaboration in a health professions program is very important. These students will become professionals who have to problem solve together and collaborate with each other in order to provide the safest and most effective patient care.
Health Professions: Applying Case Study Method of Instruction to Pathophysiology (Final Report)
]]>Abstract: The lesson study plan focused on population issues as the topic of discussion. We assigned a reading in preparation for the discussion, opened the topic with a turtle game activity, and transitioned from game results focusing on turtles to the broader discussion about the population issues. We utilized a prepared list of nine general population statements (e.g. “In a real crunch, jobs are more important than environmental quality”) to discern student agreement/disagreement on related topics, and then focused on the three statements that elicited the most diverse responses in order to promote an engaged discussion. We used a mix of individual writing, small group and large group discussion prior to whole class discussion to examine which style promoted more student participation. At the end of the class period, students were asked to complete an anonymous evaluation to help us gauge lesson success from the students’ perspective. Our findings to date from evaluation feedback and lesson observation include: utilizing small groups prior to whole class discussion is helpful for students and results in better participation; students enjoy interactive, experiential learning; students found the turtle activity effective as a warm-up to discussions on population issues; some students are not clear about the difference between a discussion and an argument.
Abstract: We sought to develop a richer understanding of ideology. At the end of the lesson we hoped students would be able to describe the key values that contribute to an individual’s ideology and would be able to explain why no two individuals have the exact same ideology. We observed improvement in student understanding over the course of two semesters.
Political Science Lesson Study: Examining Student Understanding of Ideology (Final Report)
]]>Abstract:
Our overarching goal for this lesson study was for students to understand and perceive the relevance of motivation theories and to be able to apply these theories to their lives (as students and as future teachers). From a specific lesson standpoint, our goals were for students to correctly identify different achievement goal orientations (i.e., mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoid goals), to experience how such orientations affect students’ behaviors and performance in the classroom, and to understand how personal and contextual factors shape individuals’ goal orientations. To meet these ends, we developed a 2×2 between-participants experiment in which we attempted to manipulate students’ goal orientations and performance on an anagram task. Each student received one of two different sets of anagrams to solve: the last word for each group was the same (“cinerama”), but the preceding words were either solvable (“melon” and “baker”) or unsolvable (“whirl” and “slapstick”). Furthermore, students were given two different sets of instructions: one set promoted performance goals while the other set promoted mastery goals. As a class, students completed the anagrams one-at-a-time and publicly indicated when they solved each anagram. Afterwards, students answered a series of questions about the task regarding their personal enjoyment, persistence, efforts, etc. Students were then debriefed and we had small-group and full-class discussions about the relevant motivation theories. Through observations and analyses of students’ responses in-class and via the questionnaires, we found that the lesson was overall successful in terms of increasing students’ understanding of the effects of different achievement goals. The lesson seemed to be especially salient/powerful for students in the “performance goal and unsolvable task” condition (who likely experienced learned helplessness during the activity). On the other hand, students in the “mastery goal and easy task” condition seemed to be the least engaged.
Psychology Lesson Study: How Beliefs and Context Influence Motivation for Learning (Final Report)
]]>Executive Summary
Learning goals were to introduce and deepen students’ knowledge and interest in library resources for theatre research. We wanted to ignite their curiosity and thrill them with the possibilities of finding information for their use in work for the stage. We designed a worksheet of questions, based on real-world scholars’ debates about Shakespeare’s Hamlet and interpretations of the title character. We found that when given a structure and real questions, students dug in and found strong information.
Theatre Arts / Library Lesson Study: Researching Hamlet’s Madness (Final Report)
Executive Summary: The lesson’s principal purposes were to initiate an interactive environment in the classroom; to involve students actively in collaborative work; to introduce basic concepts in theatre production and performance. The instructional pattern took the form of an activity: small groups of about five students wrote, rehearsed and performed a one-two minute play for the class; we then discussed the theatrical concepts that arose. We found that the lesson accomplished all of these things, but that it worked better taught at the second class meeting of the semester, rather than the first, because the first class meeting required so many “house keeping” details, leaving little time for discussion.
]]>Executive Summary
The topic and focus of the lesson study is authentic voice and critical incident moving from personal meaning to understanding professional teaching standards. Through guided instruction, students will learn to use a critical incident process to examine a specific situation by describing the incident objectively, exploring the emotions of involved individuals, relating the situation to personal experiences as teachers or students, identifying the standards and dispositions exemplified in the critical incident, and developing a position reflecting personal beliefs discovered through the reflection process. This topic directly addresses the objectives by creating a class lesson and exploring how it affects student learning and thinking.
Special Education Lesson Study: Authentic Voice and Critical Incident (Final Report)
Guidelines on how to use the observation protocol and blank copies of the protocol and observer reactions forms
Index cards used to survey students’ understanding of the Wisconsin Teaching Standards at the beginning and end of the semester
This is data from the beginning of the semester and the end of the semester for the first lesson study that was done. The data includes student responses to current understanding of teaching standards and helpful activities.
This is data from the beginning of the semester and the end of the semester for the second lesson study that was done. The data includes student responses to current understanding of teaching standards and helpful activities.
This is a link to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 10 Wisconsin Teaching Standards for the notecard data.
]]>Executive Summary
Learning Goals: The anticipated focus of the lesson study was the challenge of getting students to examine everyday issues through a sociological lens. We wanted to learn ways to enhance students’ abilities to make the connection between learning theory (factors that impact global stratification) and understanding experience (how the level of stratification of a nation from a global perspective impacts gender stratification on a national level and women’s quality of life on a individual level). As part of our lesson study training, we hoped to develop skills to aid students in making the theory-experience connection. Secondly, students worked in groups and were required to develop a poster and report as a team. Therefore, a second goal of the lesson study was developing an organizational strategy for presenting findings through a team effort.
Instructional Design: Instructors adapted two iterations of an active learning exercise based on Bradshaw, et al. (2001, pps. 272-273) Gender Inequality with and between Nations: Internet Research. The first iteration was designed to get students to generalize about differences among high, middle, and low income nations. Students compared nations on the following indicators: life expectancy, contraceptive use, educational attainment, women in the military and government, and women in the workforce. The second iteration required students to apply their knowledge from the first iteration to gender stratification from a national and individual perspective. This moved students from understanding indicators that defined the status of a nation globally to applying this status to gender stratification and then speculating about how women’s status impacts their everyday lives. Students presented information about different nations they chose to study as part of the first iteration and then discussed gender differences as part of the second iteration. Students were required to study a nation and create a poster (Appendix A) describing that nation on the assigned indicators, discuss the impact of the income level of the nation and gender stratification, make generalizations about the quality of life of women in that nation and compare this to other nations. Students wrote up findings in a final group paper.
Findings about student learning: From this assignment, students learned differences among nations, economically, socially, and politically with specific emphasis on gender differences, considering commonalities and differences as a function of survival in a global, interdependent community. They began to see patterns in nations on the basis of income levels, but also noted that middle income nations varied the most on criteria used to describe them. They gathered information on gender differences across all nations, but these differences were not made explicit until iteration two of the lesson study. Students learned through experience and interaction about differences across nations and how women’s lives are impacted. Issues of number of children, contraceptive use, role of religion and tradition, role of women in childrearing versus employment outside the home, and role of women in government were discussed.
Report Appendix containing:
A. Student posters,
B. Group Project on Global Stratification,
C. Informed Consent Form,
D. Poster Project Rubric,
E. Global Stratification Table
F. Discussion Sheet: Gender Stratification
G. Observer’s Notes
H. Sample Syllabus
I. Rosenberg’s Notes
Executive Summary:
The lesson topic was one introduced always in first semester Spanish courses. The pronominal paradigm in Spanish presents unique challenges to Anglo speakers due to the many differences between both languages.
Learning goals: The broad goal of this lesson study project was to get a better understanding of how our students develop their understanding of grammatical concepts in Spanish that do not correlate with English, in particular the use of object pronouns. We hoped to come out of the lesson study project with better teaching strategies to help students learn in a more effective manner.
The specific academic learning goal for the lesson was for students to develop an awareness of the object pronoun structure in Spanish and to acquire proficiency in using them correctly in controlled authentic situations.
Lesson design: The lesson involved a progressive set of activities in which students were guided from recognition and choral repetition of the structure to the spontaneous use of the object pronouns in conversation. Students were first guided by the instructor to identify the verb, subject, direct and indirect object in Spanish sentences, and to identify the corresponding object pronouns. In the second step, students were asked to answer questions using the object pronouns in their response. The instructor used transparencies for these activities, providing answers as needed and asking for choral repetition of the answers. In the following step, student pairs were asked to match a set of questions and answers, in which object pronouns were used. An oral activity using props followed to trigger students’ automatic responses using object pronouns. Students were paired for the next activity, an information-gap that required them to produce meaningful questions and answers using object pronouns. The closing activity integrated vocabulary review with spontaneous production of the structure at hand using props.
Throughout the lesson, observers took detailed notes of students’ interactions, comments and discussions among themselves as they performed the activities.
Major findings about student learning: The main finding of our team was to observe that students relied on words that they already knew, rather than on the particular object pronoun structure, to derive meaning and complete the tasks. Little attention was paid to the direct and indirect object pronouns; instead, they gravitated towards the verb as the main, and often only, cue to the right answer. We learned that for students to acquire this complex structure, input has to be extremely controlled so that they have no choice but to focus on the object pronouns as their clues.
We also gathered insight into the importance of students being engaged in all the activities as active learners. Adding choral repetition and not providing the students with paper copies of the transparency increased student engagement to 100%.
The third main finding was not unexpected: cooperative work is fundamental for students to acquire complex structures in a foreign language. Students are predisposed to rely on each other to ascertain meaning and, when offered the opportunity to do so by design, perform the tasks much more accurately and at ease.
]]>Executive Summary
The goal of this project was to develop and refine a lesson that would provide a clear and consistent vision for student-involved classroom assessment. In the developed lesson for Adolescent Literacy Methods and Literacy and Language in the Content Areas, undergraduate students explored their beliefs about assessment and participated in specific class activities to generate new learning. Learning goals for the students were: 1) to gain background knowledge of best practices in assessment; 2) to be able to self-assess an assignment using a rubric; 3) to learn how to write I can statements; 4) to apply demonstrated strategies in their teaching units; 5) to appreciate the value of student-involved assessment.
Students viewed a DVD regarding assessment myths and a new vision for assessment and participated in several specific student-involved classroom assessment strategies. These strategies included
After self-assessing an assignment, students wrote “I can statements. . .” or learning targets for improving their own performance. Students later reflected upon their learning and how they might implement student-involved assessment strategies in their future classrooms.
Rubric– Class Handout
Three column notes – Class Handout
Evaluation Form – Materials to Study Lesson
Observation Form– Materials to Study Lesson
Informational/Permission Letter
Other Materials
Presentations Based on Lesson Study – List of Presentations
Poster Presentation – Poster Presentation of Preliminary Findings
The goal of this project was to develop a self-contained lesson on six-trait writing specifically appropriate for content area teachers. It was intended to be a lesson that could fit into several literacy courses. In the developed lesson for Literacy and Language in the Content Areas and Foundations of Literacy in the Elementary School, undergraduate students participated in specific activities to generate new learning regarding the teaching and assessment of writing using 6-trait analysis. Learning goals for the students were:
Students participated in an activity to activate and share their prior knowledge about writing in general. A mini-lesson followed regarding 6-trait writing and using rubrics for trait assessment. Students were provided practice in analyzing and evaluating a piece of writing using a specific 6-trait rubric. Throughout the lesson students participated in activities such as pair/share, list-group-label and cloze as examples of instructional techniques to use in their future classrooms. The different activities as well as the interactional design of the lesson were an attempt to facilitate learning and the application of developing skills.
Executive Summary: The goals of introductory political science courses are not only to equip students with the fundamental knowledge about our discipline (that is about political processes at home and on the international level), but to give students a set of important skills, including political engagement, meaningful political citizenship (efficacy and agency), critical thinking, cultural empathy and respect for diversity (both domestic and global). To this end, four faculty members in Public and Environmental Affairs (Terri Johnson, Denise Scheberle, Kevin Vonck, and Katia Levintova) devised, piloted and refashioned a Global Summit on Sustainability. The summit pilot (Spring 2008) involved two sections of American Government (approximately 200 students) and one section of Global Politics (120 students).
The lesson study involved 29 student teams role-playing countries in a summit designed to adopt a global resolution on sustainability. Prior to the Global Summit session, a pre-Summit session was held. During pre-Summit students selected their roles, received instructions, and agreed upon the schedule for assignment completion. During the Global Summit, the global resolution was adopted as a result of compromises and negotiations among country delegations. Prior to the Global Summit, students researched their assigned country’s environmental, social, economic, and political problems that pertained to sustainable development. They also learned about the role their country played in international sustainable development efforts and international affairs in general. Each country delegation had to come up with a UN-like resolution on sustainable development which both addressed national needs and priorities and had a reasonable chance of being a framework for the global policy on sustainability. Preliminary negotiations started as soon as a resolution was approved by the delegation and posted on a D2L website created specially for the Summit. Students had one or two summit work days in class, but their work also took place outside the class as they worked in teams, and also on-line. The learning objective was for students to come away from the Summit empowered as citizens, with an increased understanding of and appreciation for global citizenship, domestic and global negotiations and policy-making, knowledgeable about their own country and the complexities of the world.
The Global Summit pilot (Spring 2008) and the slightly revised Global Summit (Fall 2008) increased students’ appreciation for global citizenship. Students perceived improved skills supportive of effective citizenship (negotiation and empathy). The change was measured through a survey instrument developed specifically for the Summit as well as observations of face-to-face and virtual (D2L) behavior and dialogues before and during the Summit and content analysis of quick reaction papers and longer (required) reflection papers. Most significantly, we detected the difference in means between the pre-Summit and post-Summit surveys, with the questions’ means increasing or decreasing in response to participation in the Summit. Qualitative content analysis of student written assignments also revealed increased sophistication in global thinking and negotiations skills.
Below are links to some additional material:
This section contains every handout or prompt mentioned in the description of the lesson. It provides useful instructional materials to use with the lesson.
This presentation is shown during the Pre-Summit. It provides brief overview of the project and is designed to introduce students to the global thinking.
This presentation helps keep the summit on track.
In this video students discuss their assignment.
Excerpts from the Global Summit on Sustainability Fall 2008.
Executive Summary
The goal of the lesson is to develop students’ understanding of construct validity as measured by their ability to: 1) explain methods used to determine construct validity for psychological measures and 2) design a study to determine the construct validity of a given measure.
Prior to the lesson. In the two class days prior to the lesson, the instructor presented information on content, criterion, and construct validity. Each type of validity was presented in terms of a question it answered and how it might be assessed. Content validity answers the question, “Do the items represent the domain of interest?” It can be assessed by having an expert in the topic review the test. Criterion validity answers the question, “Do scores on the test predict some non-test behavior?” It can be assessed by correlating scores on the test with some other measure of the behavior (e.g. behavioral observation). Construct validity answers the question, “Does the test measure what it claims to measure?” The lecture highlights several processes to assess construct validity. The answer to the construct validity question is dependent upon what is known about the construct being measured. For example, if the theory about the construct suggests that two groups of people should have different levels of a construct, and the test actually measures the construct, then the groups’ scores should be different.
We evaluated three versions of the lesson across three semesters. In Version 1 (lesson, no lecture – A), students developed a 5-item measure of depression and then designed three research studies to evaluate the validity of their measure prior to receiving any instruction about construct validity. In Version 2 (lesson, no lecture – B) we made minor modifications, but the lesson essentially remained the same. In Version 3 (lesson after lecture), we made significant modifications. The instructor lectured about construct validity first, and in a subsequent class, students analyzed three validity studies and then designed a validity study based on information provided by the instructor.
In Versions 1 and 2, students became bogged down in details of their proposed research studies and missed the more important goal of predicting results that would support the validity of their measure. The team decided to restructure the lesson so that in Version 3 they first heard a lecture, and then read summaries of real validity studies and predicted the results of those studies given the tests were valid. In the last part of the lesson students designed a study to determine if a given test was valid and predicted the results of that study. Interestingly, students who participated in Version 1 of the lesson (lesson, no lecture – A) generally performed better than students who participated in Versions 2 and 3.
Documents related to the Construct Validity Lesson Plan:
Design Validity Study Exercise
Documents related to the Study of the Construct Validity Lesson:
Student Perceptions of the Lesson
Observation Guidelines
Executive Summary: This lesson was designed to introduce students to the basic procedures and processes of classical conditioning within the context of a single-semester course in Introduction to Psychology. We usually allocate one-week for the unit on Learning, which approximates a single 50-minute class on classical conditioning (the remaining two classes are devoted to operant conditioning and observational learning, respectively). Thus, the lesson incorporates both lecture and activity and was designed with a multi-media compatible classroom in mind.
After the introduction to the elements and procedure of classical conditioning, students complete a worksheet (see attached) designed to provide students with practice using the terminology of classical conditioning, understanding the ordering of elements in the procedure of classical conditioning, and applying their knowledge to a variety of different examples including a novel one that students create. The worksheet provides an opportunity to assess studentsâ€ knowledge of classical conditioning from basic definitions of the elements of classical conditioning to the learning of a conditioned response through a variety of real-world examples.
Four assessments (peer observation of the lesson, grading of the activity worksheet, grading of relevant exam questions, and a student survey) indicated the lesson generally worked well. Both students and observers reported that the lesson was engaging and helped introduce an admittedly difficult topic. The lesson shows promise with several suggestions for improvement included.
]]>Executive Summary: The goal of the lesson is for students to develop an understanding of how physics is connected to biology through the building of physics models of biological phenomena.
We developed three versions of the lesson, evaluating Versions 1 and 2 and making changes based on those evaluations. In Version 1 students engaged in model building activities and were asked to develop physics-based models for a variety of biological and physiological facts. In Version 2 significant modifications were made to address difficulties students had in meeting the learning goals of Version 1. In particular, the number of different biological facts students were asked to model was reduced significantly, and more attention was paid to developing students’ model building skills. Only minor modifications were made in Version 3 to help provide more feedback and a clearer framework for model building to students.
We found that students suffered from several difficulties that prevented them from achieving the learning goals: a lack of conceptual understanding; underdeveloped models; and a lack of reflection on the models that they built. The revisions in the lesson were designed to address these difficulties, resulting in a lesson, which provides ample opportunities for feedback to students on the model building process and how it helps to make connections between physics and biology
Links related to the Lesson:
Links related to the Study:
]]>General Physics l & ll is the calculus based Physics course taught at UW-Baraboo/Sauk County. This course presents the basic concepts of physics as they apply to mechanics, heat, wave motion, sound, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, light and nuclear physics. It consists of lectures, discussion, and labs. The lectures and discussions emphasize conceptual understanding as well as problem solving. The labs use a hands-on, activity-based approach to learning physics concepts. This course is designed for students whose program requires 1 year of physics or those who plan to take further courses in physics. This project would allow the students to utilize their knowledge of mechanics and motion to design an aerodynamic rocket body to house a chemical motor and to calculate it’s max. altitude theoretically and compare the value to an experimental one.
General Chemistry l & ll is a one-year course in college chemistry. It consists of lectures, discussion, and labs. This course is designed for students whose program requires 1 year of chemistry or those who plan to take further courses in chemistry. This project would allow the students to utilize their knowledge of chemistry to fabricate a safe chemical motor.
Summary: The Physics students never did get to work with the Chemistry students as a team; however, they each individually designed a model rocket body to house a chemical motor propellant. We also had (3) lectures/discussions pertaining to rockets. The 1st one was discussing the physics behind rockets- more in depth than the textbook material. The 2nd one was an open discussion on how to calculate the max. altitude of a rocket theoretically and group work solving a sample problem similar to how we would do it during the lesson study. The 3rd meeting was a hands-on experiment launching a toy model rocket (no motor included) and then we used geometrical methods to determine the actual altitude of the rocket.
Chemistry and Physics Lesson Study: Capstone Lab in Rocketry Design (Final Report)
]]>Executive Summary
Purpose: The PT-PTA lesson study team designed a project to develop awareness and appreciation for professional and technically trained colleagues within the first year of each academic program. Both programs are housed in the Health Science Center. In the past, an interactive activity had occurred only within the final academic semester of each program so this project was designed to integrate these students earlier during their educational experience. As health care providers, PT assistants provide technically skilled assistance to the PT in providing services to consumers. Therefore, the learning activity was designed to improve student awareness of each others’ background training, clinical skills, and expected roles & responsibilities in work settings.
Learning Goals: The team developed five learning goals for the session that addressed how well students value the preferred PT-PTA relationship, recognize the educational rigor expected of each program, and experience an opportunity to and collaborate and learn from each other related to patient care activities.
Instructional Design: Within each program, students were introduced to the guiding principles for PT-PTA relationships on the basis of state statutes, the Wisconsin PT practice act, national professional policies, ethical guidelines, and consensus documents. Within the interactive lab, students managed one or more clinical cases (one case using role play in 2007 adjusted to 14 mini-cases using discussion in 2008) during which they had the opportunity to interact on educational background, clinical training, and to develop a mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities.
Major Findings: The Lesson Study team concluded that this activity was worthwhile. The data and feedback indicate that students benefit from and value an opportunity to focus on PT and PTA backgrounds, clinical training, roles and responsibilities in an interactive manner. In addition, there were indicators that the format of the lesson plan for 2008 was more effective in achieving the learning goals when compared to data and feedback from 2007. Primary course instructors were encouraged to continue the lesson study process with further integration of content across the program in addition to continuing to hold one interactive lab at the end of the first academic year. A second lab session held later in the academic programs is recommended as follow-up with a focus on promoting a more advanced awareness of clinical roles relative to more complex clinical considerations.
Objective: Introduce Phenomenology as a Philosophical Method
Student Learning Outcomes:
a) students will have noticed the perspectival nature of attention/perception
b) students will become aware of how language and words bring something to the perception and how lived experience is historical and part of what we bring to perception.
c) students will note how structured absence makes us aware of the objects as perceived and aware of meaningful engagement in the world.
Conclusion:
We found a great benefit to the discussing the lesson and revising it. The students were very able to grasp the perspectival nature of attention. More examples would have helped the students understand that lived experience is historical and part of what we bring to perception, and that language and words bring something to the perception. It is not clear exactly how this exercise could be modified in our to show the social constructed-ness of parts of our experience and the concepts we use to describe our experience. The final section of the class, where the students had to draw what they took to be the relation between their “mind” and the “object perceived” helped students understand a key sub-discipline of philosophy, i.e., philosophy of mind. The last observation we had was that it is difficult to quantify for the purposes of rigorous study the understanding of this feature of philosophy.
]]>Executive Summary:
The one hour class period in which nursing history was taught in Freshman Seminar in Nursing was the focus of this study. The short-term, lesson-specific goals for the lesson were [a] that students will identify 3 major themes that capture the ways in which the nursing profession evolved, and [b] that given exposure to nursing artifacts, students will discuss form and function of these artifacts as they relate to technology and the work of the nurse. The short-term, general course goal addressed in this lesson was that students will complete assigned homework as evidenced by their participation in class discussion.
The lesson plan included various interactive methods to address the three themes that have undergone change as the nursing profession has evolved overt time. These themes are [A] the Identity of the Nurse, [B] Nursing Service/Practice, and [C] the Work of Nursing including the technologies used in nursing care.
Activities included a homework assignment, short lecture and guided discussion on the themes that used the homework assignment and involved passing around historic artifacts, a small group discussion of a job description of bedside nursing in the 1887, and small group activity in the Nursing Historical Gallery where students discussed artifacts and ways in which the work of the nurse has changed over time.
After obtaining informed consent, two cohorts of students enrolled in Freshmen Seminar in Nursing were studied. Data were collected using non-participant observation. The lesson plan was revised based on data derived from observing the first cohort of students. Based on 0 to 10 scales, where 0 is strongly disagree and 10 is strongly agree, the average across scores for student being attentive, responsive, and understanding of the concepts addressed, the average scores from two observers were as follows.
During the lecture/guided discussion part of the class, using homework-based activities allowed the content to be addressed in a more interactive manner than when lecture was the primary mode of content delivery. The small group discussion of a job description of bedside nursing from 1887 was the weakest part of the lesson. After observing the first cohort of students, this activity was simplified and it was much more successful with the second cohort of students. The activities in the Historical Gallery were characterized by excellent participation and thoughtful discussion in both cohorts of students.
Links to the lesson plan and the materials used to each it:
Executive Summary: With this lesson study, we wanted to foster critical thinking about male-centered ideas of leadership and challenge students to imagine leadership and leadership styles in more inclusive ways. In addition, we wanted to explore ways of empowering students to move from understanding social issues to understanding their own responsibility and capacity for civic engagement, particularly by addressing the difficulties women students have in imagining themselves in leadership roles.
The group invited three women leaders, two in politics and one in education, to speak to a total of five different Introduction to Women’s Studies classes. We helped the students come up with a series of questions to address to their visiting speaker, and members of the group were available to observe each class. In addition, we asked students to respond to a series of pre-lecture and post-lecture questions. The group met several times before and after each lesson to discuss plans and observations. The most useful data we found, however, came from the pre- and post-lesson discussion boards.
Our findings were sometimes surprising and multi-faceted. For example, when asked to cite examples of good leaders in the pre-speaker discussion board, these women’s studies students named mostly men. This dynamic was especially pronounced for male students, the large majority of whom didn’t list any female leaders at all. We also analyzed the pre-lesson discussion board for the masculine and feminine qualities associated with leadership. We found that students were slightly more likely to associate leadership with qualities we identified as masculine than with qualities we identified as feminine. Men were less likely than women to describe leadership in feminine terms and more likely than women to have a hierarchical vision of leadership. Pre-lesson questions about the students’ own capacity for leadership also yielded interesting gendered results. While both male and female students were relatively positive about their own leadership capacity, women were most likely to qualify and contextualize their positive responses and men were most likely to reply with definite positive or negative responses.
The post-lesson discussion board also yielded interesting results. When we asked students whether their ideas had changed as a result of the lesson, relatively few students were willing to say that the lesson had changed their perspective. Many students responded with what we classified a “no, but . . .” response. These students would qualify their negative response with details about how their thinking had in some way been affected, enhanced or modified. Self-reported changes were once again gendered. Both in relation to their thinking about leadership qualities generally and their thinking about their own leadership capacity, women were much more likely than men to report some change in their thinking as a result of the lesson.
When the group analyzed the discussion board for evidence of change beyond self-reports, the results were complicated. The shifts we saw in the student discussion did not necessarily go in the directions that we had predicted or planned for, nor were student changes in thinking necessarily more feminist. In addition, the qualitative changes in thinking were different depending on which speaker the students had seen. Three promising threads emerged in the conversation, however: speakers’ strength and ability to endure adversity, explicit conversation about gender, and the “down-to-earth” qualities of the speakers. Each of these suggested to us the emergence of a more complicated and more feminized vision of leadership.
Students’ changes in attitude about their own leadership capacity were especially unpredictable. We had assumed that women students would see themselves as more capable of leadership after the lesson. Instead, all the students tended towards more specificity when they described their own abilities as leaders. At first glance, this would suggest that students were less likely, rather than more likely, to see themselves as leaders. After analyzing and discussing student responses, however, the group felt that student post-lesson responses showed greater sophistication, a more realistic idea about what leadership might involve, and a more thoughtful consideration of the questions than had been shown in the pre-lesson discussion board.
Overall, the lesson study was extremely useful in providing information both about student attitudes and about student learning processes. The students clearly benefitted from the guest speakers we brought in. They expressed enthusiasm about and engagement in the lesson. Though the learning evidenced in the discussion board was often unpredictable, it was also profound. Student thinking showed greater complexity and sophistication, as well as more depth and awareness around gender issues—even when the students did not arrive at conclusions we might have predicted or desired. We also gained valuable insights about students’ gendered ideas about leadership and differing attitudes of male and female students on this topic.
]]>Executive Summary: Our goal was to help students to understand the process of establishing identities and to carry out the process effectively.
In establishing an identity, students have to apply a series of logical steps, while always keeping their objective in mind. There is no template problem, no recipe to follow. The steps for establishing an identity are unique to that identity. Our focus was on teaching students what constitutes the proof of an identity and how to present the proof in logical steps.
In designing the lesson we tried to link students’ prior knowledge about algebra, in particular algebraic equations and rational equations, with trigonometric functions. To emphasize this we began the lecture by first establishing an algebraic identity, followed by the replacement of the present variable with a trigonometric function to obtain a trigonometric identity. Other examples of identities were then proved on the board with each step being provided by a different student and the underlying algebra underscored by the instructor. Finally the students were given a worksheet with different types of identities to work on as the instructor observed and answered questions.
There were six identities on the worksheet. Most students attempted 4 ~ 5 and on average completed the proofs of about 4 identities correctly, using varied approaches. Furthermore, the students displayed enthusiasm and confidence in carrying out their work. This carried over to their performance in the final exam: more students attempted and successfully established the identities compared to previous years, when a majority of the students simply skipped these problems.
Mathematics: Establishing Trigonometric Identities – The Study (Final Report)
]]>Goals of the lesson:
Lesson Goals:
Executive Summary: This introductory lesson to partial derivatives to a class of business and social science majors focuses on conceptual understanding in several different ways. It opens with a couple of questions on car loans aimed at assessing the experience and intuition of the class concerning changes in multivariable functions. Then with the help of a computer applet borrowed from MIT the lesson introduces the concept of partial derivatives through its geometrical meaning. TI-89 calculators provide a way for students to easily compute partial derivatives algebraically for a simple polynomial function. Through these two technological tools students explore the relationship between the 3-D graph of a two-variable function and its partials. The 75 minute lesson ends with a couple of partial derivative applications from the fields of business and economics.
The lesson is based on a laboratory/guided discovery approach. Technology is used as a tool for exploration. The learning activities were ordered to achieve understanding first geometrically, then algebraically, and finally through application. Lower-level computational skills were placed in support of higher-level conceptual understanding. Some later questions were directed toward giving students the opportunity to discover connections with previously-learned material. The application portion of the lesson is designed to help students see connections between the mathematics curriculum and other disciplines.
This lesson study reinforced the notion that discovery learning, supported by technology that helps students visualize and compute, is very helpful in the introduction of a conceptually difficult topic such as partial derivatives. The lesson also highlighted the importance of constant and immediate assessment in the classroom. The gulf between an instructor’s perception of student understanding and what is actually the case can be tremendously broad, especially toward the end of a long semester. A third revelation is that usually simpler is better. It is preferable to focus on understanding a few concepts well in the classroom. Finally, the importance of personal contact, student-to-student or student-to-teacher, cannot be overemphasized. While working in a computer lab, the information is right there in the face of the student on the computer screen. In a lengthy classroom or lecture hall, it is far too easy for the weaker student to disengage. In addition every learning environment needs to provide a way for instructors to get within every student’s “sphere of learning.”. Students that are not easily accessed in the classroom, whether in the back of a long classroom or against the wall in a computer lab are in danger of being lost.
Mathematics: Introduction to Partial Derivatives in a Business Calculus Course (Final Report)
Below are links to the lesson materials used to teach it.
Below are links related to the study of the lesson.
]]>Executive Summary
Our main goal for this lesson is for students to understand the difference between simple interest and compound annual interest. Prerequisite to understanding these concepts is the understanding of the mathematics concepts of rate (interest rate) and percents. A related goal is the recognition of the additive nature of simple interest providing a linear rate of growth (additive sequence) and the multiplicative nature of compound interest providing an exponential rate of growth (geometric sequence). Included in our goals is the ability to represent these relationships in numeric, tabular, and graphical forms.
Part of the rationale for this project defined in the fall of 2007 was the recent home foreclosures problem in the U.S. (indicating that individuals did not understand the mathematics perhaps of home loan agreements). Unfortunately, the impact of the foreclosure crises was felt even more strongly a year later during our lesson study with the failure of numerous financial institutions and major losses in the stock market.
The recent national interest in financial literacy as it relates to citizens understanding rates, percents, investment, interest earned, and growth relate directly to this lesson study. This first lesson on the mathematics of financial literacy is on simple interest earned in contrast to compound interest earned annually.
The investment context first introduced was the additive application of simple interest. Students represented an investment in numeric and tabular form and extended the data by working in small groups using a calculator. This data was also analyzed using its graphical form. The compound interest earned (exponential rate of growth) was studied in the same fashion by small groups of students. Students made longer term predictions as to which form of investment would be best over time. Excel was used to investigate further the impact of longer term investments in contrast to each other. These activities were at an appropriate level and resulted in students analyzing differences between the two types of interest earned both numerically and graphically. By the end of the lesson, students readily recognized the type of interest earned directly from only a graphical representation.
Below are links to the lesson plan materials used to teach it.
Handouts for Activities
All 3 handouts are linked here.
Excel Examples
Excel examples from the lesson with graphs.
Bonds and Prices
Link to current source of bonds.
CDs and Pricing
Link to current source of CDs.
Below are links related to the study of the lesson.
Field Notes
Observation notes on the lesson.
Student Responses
Sample student work and summary
Executive Summary
The lesson topic is the distance between a point and a line using an algebraic approach and a calculator based approach to problem solving.
Learning Goals: The immediate academic learning goals of this lesson were to develop students’ understanding of the derivation of the point to line distance formula and to develop the ability to apply the point to line distance formula to solve problems. The ongoing academic learning goals of this lesson were to develop the ability to use the calculator to build structures to solve problems involving systems of equations, to develop a greater understanding of the similarities between calculators and other forms of technology, and to further develop strategies for solving multi-step problems.
Instructional Design: The lesson was divided into five steps. The first step was instructor led and involved the determination of the shortest distance between a specific point and a specific line using the techniques of algebra and paper and pencil. The second step mimicked the first but rather than using paper and pencil the instructor and students used either a TI-89 or TI-Voyage 200 calculator. During the third step of the lesson the instructor and students then developed the point to line distance formula for any point and any line using the TI-89 or TI-Voyage 200 calculator. The fourth step of the lesson involved the students verifying the formula by using the developed formula along with the point and the line from parts one and two to determine if the developed formula did indeed yield the same results as their previous calculations. Finally, in step five the students worked collaboratively and then independently on an assignment related to the lesson.
Major Findings about Student Learning: The students with the assistance of the instructor were able to build the appropriate structures using either a TI-89 or TI-Voyage 200 calculator to solve a problem involving systems of equations and to derive a formula involving systems of equations. The students were collaboratively and individually able to apply the developed formula to other problems in the assignment. Students questioned each other and the instructor more often during the collaborative work period than during the instructor led portion of the lesson. Some students did have an underlying misunderstanding of the benefits of a formula.
]]>Executive Summary: The topic of the lesson is Rolle`s Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem.
Learning Goals.
Lesson Design. The lesson was designed in order to emphasize the discovery process and the role of proof in mathematics. The first major piece of the lesson is an activity that asks students, in several steps, to draw graphs of functions satisfy various hypotheses. The last graph that students were asked to draw is impossible to draw, because any graph satisfying all of the required conditions would violate Rolle`s Theorem. Rolle`s Theorem is introduced in this way. A second activity involving graphs related to the Mean Value Theorem is used to introduce or study the Mean Value Theorem. These graphing exercises are intended to help students discover for themselves the two theorems and help them to appreciate the discovery process in mathematics.
The second major part of the lesson is to work problems involving the theorems to better understand how the theorems are used and apply in practice. The variety of problems is intended to emphasize different aspects of the theorems, including why the hypotheses are necessary and how to apply the theorems to modeling applications and more abstract settings.
The final part of the lesson is to prove the Mean Value Theorem assuming Rolle`s Theorem. This portion of the lesson is expected to be difficult for students, so ample time should be allotted for question and discussion.
Major Findings. During the first round of the lesson, we learned that students seem to catch on quickly that the second graphing exercise is almost identical to the first and that therefore the last graph is impossible to draw. This seemed to cause a significant reduction in their engagement with the lesson. However, when this activity was changed for the second round, the decrease in performance on certain quiz and homework problems suggests that the repetition may actually have served its purpose of emphasizing the hypotheses present in the two theorems.
Report Excerpts:
Our group decided to address the topic of confidence intervals and the interpretation and use of confidence intervals, in particular focusing on the interpretation of confidence intervals (i.e. what intervals say and what they do not say). We chose this topic after having noticed students having difficulty with the interpretation and use of the confidence interval and not so much the computation of the confidence interval.
Based on the results of the pre and post quiz, the misconception regarding the interpretation of a confidence interval by applying it to individuals rather than means seems to have been adequately addressed by the lesson. However, students still do not have a clear understanding of the interpretation of a confidence interval for the mean as it relates to the subtle difference between probability and confidence.
Full Report Below:
]]>Executive Summary
The lesson topic is related rates in Calculus I or Calculus & Analytic Geometry I. Related rates problems tend to be difficult for students since they are generally word problems that require setting up equations before solving. This topic is important as one common example of an application of derivatives.
Learning Goals: There are two immediate goals for this lesson: 1) Students will understand that related rates problems are applications of implicit differentiation and 2) Students will be able to translate, compile, model, and solve a related rates problem and interpret the meaning of the answer. A longer-term goal is that students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills will be improved.
Lesson Design: The lesson is designed to span two class days. On the first day, students start by working through an introductory worksheet, which extends what they have previously learned to introduce the concept of related rates. Since word problems are often a stumbling block for students, the lesson includes an overview of problem-solving strategies, somewhat specific to related rates, although they can be generalized. A warm-up worksheet reviews necessary material and gives students a chance to set up equations, an essential part of the problem-solving process. On the second day of the lesson, the instructor works through two examples with the class to model the problem-solving process, and students are given a chance to solve problems on their own or in small groups. The examples and worksheet problems were chosen to show students a variety of different types of related rates problems, starting with more straightforward problems and ending with more difficult problems.
Major Findings about Student Learning: In terms of our specific lesson goals, by looking at the data we collected, the first two were achieved by most students: 1) Students will understand that related rates problems are applications of implicit differentiation and 2) Students will be able to translate, compile, model, and solve a related rates problem and interpret the meaning of the answer. Since the third goal, “Students’ problem-solving and critical thinking skills will be improved,” is more general, there will need to be a series of lesson studies in order for it to be assessed properly. Is this the “perfect” lesson? The answer is probably no. However, the planned activities did visibly increase student engagement and responsiveness. The lesson developed will help instructors to assemble an excellent lesson, depending on the classroom settings and other institutional factors.
Below are links related to the lesson plan and the materials used to teach it.
Basketball Example
Warm-Up to Related Rates Worksheet
In-Class Related Rates Examples
Rales Rates Worksheet
Below are links related to the study of the lesson.
Observation Forrm
Student Survey
Related Rates Homework Spring 2006
Related Rates Homework Fall 2006
Student Data
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Executive Summary:
Learning Goals. The overall learning goal is to have students be able to add and subtract rational expressions. Students will first combine expressions with common denominators, then find a common denominator to combine expressions with unlike denominators. Long-term goals not directly assessed by the lesson are to ease anxiety when dealing with fractions and to have students realize the connection between adding/subtracting rational numbers and adding/subtracting rational expressions.
Lesson Design. The lesson reviewed addition and subtraction of fractions, demonstrated addition and subtraction of simple rational expressions, and worked up to difficult examples. The lesson began with three examples of rational numbers, one with common denominators and two with un-like denominators, followed by rational expressions with common denominators. Examples of rational expressions with un-like denominators started out simple and increased in difficulty level. The number of expressions to be added increased along with the difficulty in the factorization of the denominators. The examples were chosen so that the answers could be rewritten in reduced forms at the end to remind students to check that final step in their answers. Due to the anxiety that this lesson has caused in the past, hard examples were presented by the end so that students could be exposed to more difficult problems.
Major findings about student learning. The findings showed that even though students were successful at the beginning problems in the homework, they were intimidated by the “difficult look” of the later homework problems and simply did not attempt them. This was evident in the analysis of the homework where the amount of incomplete problems drastically increased at a certain problem when the difficulty level was higher. In the revised lesson, more difficult examples were used, and it was stressed that the steps remain the same even though it looked much harder than previous examples. Several days later when the students had to use the lesson to solve equations involving rational expressions their confidence level was greater and the majority of students got the correct answers.
Below are links to the lesson plan and the materials used to teach it.
]]>Executive Summary: Our goal is for students to better understand rate of change in context, including the skills of moving flexibly between algebraic and graphical representations and analyzing behaviors given information about the rate of change. In this lesson, students practice these skills in concrete examples using average rate of change, as a preparation for doing similar work with derivatives. These activities are at an appropriate level, with some review, and some critical thinking work, and they prompt valuable discussion among students about rates of change.
Below are links to materials used to teach the lesson.
Executive Summary: In this activity, we hope to help students differentiate and explain three statistical terms at the heart of statistical inference: the mean of a population, the mean of a sample of observations, and the mean of the sample means.
Past experience indicates that term “mean” can be very confusing for students in an Elementary Statistics class, especially when the same word choice may be applied in all three situations above, with different meanings in each case. Understanding the differences, as well as the connection, between the three types of means above is important for the most basic hypothesis tests in statistics: testing if the population mean equals a certain value by looking at just one random sample. The idea that data from a small sample can be used to estimate the mean of an entire population, which cannot be obtained directly, is critical to statistical applications in many, many fields.
The specific learning goals of the lesson are as follows:
In this lesson students will take random samples of different sizes and calculate their averages. They will then put their averages on Post-It notes and place them in the correct spot on the chalkboard to make histograms that will represent the sampling distributions. By comparing their sample means, the mean of the histogram (the mean of all the samples), and the population mean (which will be revealed at the right moment), they will hopefully get a fuller appreciation of the three different uses of the word “mean”.
The activity was successful in several ways. Students enjoyed the short exercise in drawing random samples and were surprised by some of the sample means obtained. As the histograms were formed, they saw clearly how the variability decreased as sample size increased. Finally, they got to see how most sample means gave close approximations to the true population mean.
]]>Executive Summary: Our interdisciplinary lesson study group developed a collaborative learning experience designed to introduce CST110 students to library resources and research skills. The lesson was both interactive and hands-on. It was intended to serve as the model or template for all librarians to use when providing information literacy instruction for CST 110 classes. It included general library information, instruction about, and hands-on experience with, several library databases, exercises in evaluating resource credibility, and exercises in generating American Psychological Association (APA) style citations from several library databases. We utilized the new lesson for the first time on February 8, 2006.
Learning Goals: Our primary goal for the lesson was to ensure that CST110 students gained proficiency in basic research skills, including the use of library services and resources. Specifically, we wanted students to be able to:
Lesson Design:
Librarians and communications studies faculty designed the lesson to mimic the research process, taking students though the steps necessary to conduct quality research. In order to engage the students in learning we incorporated collaborative learning techniques, including a series of interactive questions that each group answered. The questions sometimes required a verbal response, and sometimes required a written response from each group. We also utilized a worksheet to help focus student attention.
Groups of three to four students shared a computer and completed tasks together. Collaborative learning serves a pragmatic purpose, as it keeps the class together, rather than having some individuals jump ahead or work on non-related web browsing. As Smith reported in his 2004 study on collaborative learning, the quality of the work increases with collaborative learning:
“In a meta-analysis of 122 studies involving 11,317 learners, Yiping, Abrami, and d’Apollonia concluded that ‘when working with computer technology in small groups, students in general produced substantially better group products than individual products and they also gained more individual knowledge than those learning with computer technology individually'” (2001, 476 in Smith, 2004).
Each group member had his or her own worksheet referred to as a “research log.” Librarians designed the worksheet to provide a:
Class outlines and worksheets with keywords from the lesson help students focus their attention rather than dividing their limited short-term memory between the instructor and note taking. Research by Kiewra and others (as cited by deWinstanley and Bjork, 2002) suggests that when instructors provide students with an outline or worksheet for note taking, students’ note quality, performance, and lecture recall improve.
In addition to keeping in-class performance on track and helping students’ process new information, the CST 110 worksheet is also a job aid. Job aids are “repository[ies] for information, processes, or perspectives that are external to the individual and that supports work…by directing, guiding, and enlightening performance” when a need arises (Rossett & Gautier-Downes, 1991). Many students who come to the library with their CST 110 class have not yet selected a topic for their assignments. Therefore, when students are working on their research outside of class or in future classes, their worksheet — a customized job aid — directs and guides their search for information.
Major Findings About Student Learning
Analysis of student behavior observed during the lesson indicated that:
Students perceived the lesson to be effective in improving their ability to use information resources. However, we did not ask for their perceptions about specific research skills. After the library lesson, the CST 110 instructor recognized that the students located and cited more credible information to support their speeches. Students were also able to use proper citations in their bibliographies. The instructor reported that students expressed that they felt more comfortable using available library resources.
After the lesson the librarians recognized shortcomings in their standard assessment instrument, and planned to implement improvements. In addition, they recognized the continuing need to collaborate with CST instructors to evaluate the efficacy of the CST 110 library lesson.
Links to materials used to teach the lesson:
Links to the study of the lesson:
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Executive Summary: We designed a lesson that could be used with students from different classes working collaboratively together in a problem-focused learning exercise, namely the design of a university whose objective was to teach individuals from another planet about the cultures of Earth.
Learning goals. We had three primary learning goals for our lesson. The first was to provide students with experience analyzing and solving problems from an interdisciplinary perspective, and to foster an understanding of the value in doing so. The second goal was to increase student engagement in freshman-level courses by means of working together in interdisciplinary teams (with students from a variety of classes) to solve a complex problem. And finally, we wanted the lesson to foster students’ communication skills, specifically their abilities to write, speak in front of large groups, and communicate effectively in a small group environment.
Instructional design. To achieve these goals, students were introduced to the lesson and then given informational materials on the design of our own university. Students were told that they would be working with group members from six different courses in this project, and that they each would be representing the discipline of their class in this project. Students worked to complete an individual worksheet detailing what they considered to be primary objectives in the development of the university, as well as the basic components of curriculum, governance, and student development opportunities at the university. After discussing this in their individual classes, students spent two class days working in interdisciplinary groups with students from 5 other classes to design their university. They worked together to identify their top objectives for the university, as well as its key structures, and then created a physical representation of their work, which some groups then presented at the conclusion of this group work. After the group work was completed, students completed an individual paper on the experience where they were asked to discuss their understanding of interdisciplinarity, and the contributions of their group members to the project, and were also asked to complete a survey assessment of their experiences.
Major findings about student learning. The survey and observational findings of our project indicated that the lesson had a positive influence on all three of our learning goals. Students’ level of knowledge about interdisciplinarity seemed to increase as a result of their interdisciplinary group work, and they seemed to have developed a greater appreciation for the value of such a perspective by the end of the semester. In addition, students seemed to find the project highly engaging, a fact that was supported in our observations of their group work and in the results of our survey analysis. Finally, students seemed to perceive that the lesson work had a positive influence on their communication skills, particularly the group work that they completed. Overall, we feel that the lesson was quite successful in accomplishing our learning goals, but in the future we may change the assignment to that of designing an ideal university on our own planet, to avoid some of the issues raised in giving this rather abstract assignment to freshmen students. In addition, we may also try to build in more time, at the end of the group work, to a discussion of the groups’ projects.
Lesson Materials – Interdisciplinary Problem-Solving Study, “The University of Tre-Eh” Activity
]]>Executive Summary: The lesson topic Futuring Techniques/Tools is important to this course because the role of technology has a dramatic impact on many aspects of our lives it is important to study the effects it creates within individuals and in the global society. In order to do this not only do we need to look at the past but also we need to understand what directions it may take in the future. If we are to use the power of technology to improve lives of people then we must know what technologies will be commonplace and how to best apply them. Therefore, we must learn how to study and prepare for the future.
Learning Goals. The immediate academic learning goal of the lesson is to develop students’ ability to predict the future of technological advances by using futuring techniques/tools. A broader goal of the lesson was to develop students’ ability to understand technologies ripple effect on their lives, education, professions, and society.
Lesson Design. The Lesson Study is designed to use several different methods to try and comprehend if the students understand the concepts of futuring techniques/tools. The methods used include a quiz, a pre and post study question, an individual hands-on activity, and two hands-on team activities.
Major findings about student learning. The findings were mixed. The quiz and the team activity of creating a future wheel shows that students have an understanding of the importance of futuring techniques/tools. However, the individual activity shows a big disconnect between the goals of the Lesson Study and what the individual student retains about the futuring techniques/tools. The pre and post study question was indifferent in providing clear evidence of student understanding.
]]>Executive Summary: Our learning goals revolve around students’ struggle to learn about strikes and government regulations because of their preconceived notions about unions and big government. We want students to understand why Americans supported an expansion of government regulations at the turn of the 20th century, especially why the middle-class initiated and drove these reforms in pursuit of “modernity.” Therefore, we begin with the problems of the Gilded Age. Here students learn about the extreme wealth disparities, high mortality and injury rates in the workplace, poor public health, violent reaction to strikes, high unemployment rates, and corrupt urban machine politics. We constructed our study around an interactive lecture with a primary document discussion group activity that was graded for historical interpretation (i.e., an explanation of why these events happened at this particular time and are still relevant for us today). We found that students’ preconceived notions of immigrants are their biggest stumbling block, but when we have them focus on their reactions to low wages, lack of workers’ compensation, etc., they are able to anticipate Progressive Era reforms. Students enjoyed and seemed more engaged when asked to respond personally; they were most frustrated when asked to apply the reading terms from the textbook and to stick to the historical context. Individual reflection followed by group work seems to minimize these frustrations. However, finding the time in or out of class to cover the topic, reflect, then discuss (and grade homework) was still problematic.
Links to the study of the lesson:
Next Phase: The Progressive Era.
These are historical documents used to connect the Gilded Age problems to the Progressive Era reforms:
Executive Summary
Learning Goals: The learning goals of this lesson study were the following:
Instructional Design: The design consisted of two treatment effects, each delivered to a different class of Global Perspectives students. The first was conducted in spring 2007, and the second in fall 2007. In the first stage students were required to read an article prior to a lecture on the topic. Students were also given a set of questions directed toward an assessment of the the learning goals above. In the second treatment effect students again were assigned an outside reading on the subject, but the lesson was modified to include the use of Google Earth to identify regional demarcations of boundaries and terrain, and the in-class viewing of a short video on the subject. Students again heard the lecture and were given the set of questions directed toward the learning goals. In each case there was a discussion after the lecture regarding the questions to assess student success in mastering the material.
Major Findings: Student response, both in terms of knowledge and effect, was much more positive in the second treatment effect than in the first.
Links and References for Class Materials: