Chem Connections

Pedagogy Questions

The Learning and Teaching Group would like to use these questions to begin a dialogue about pedagogy. We will initiate conversation within working groups at the April meeting and explain our "adopt a developer" program. We aim to have an initial phone conversation with each module developer about some questions below, as a start. These questions are meant to stimulate us to think early-on about our goals and learning outcomes for students. We hope you'll give each of them some thought. Please give us comments if we have missed something major or introduced an idea that seems inappropriate.


QUESTIONS for the module

What question(s) do I want the module to answer?
My SUPPORT SYSTEM
During development who can I go to for:
- support and encouragement?
- new ideas to address a snag?
OUTCOMES for my students
What are the desired student outcomes?
- in content?
- in skills?

What should my students:
- be able to DO when they finish?
- memorize?
- remember in the long term?

Does it matter how well my students do on "standard" measures of performance?
How to ASSESS STUDENT PERFORMANCE
How can:
- students demonstrate their knowledge?
- I know the module is working?
- I grade?
- I know they are learning before the end of the module?
- I obtain student feedback?

What behaviors will students show if they are meeting the outcomes?
The CONTEXT
Do the students need a text as a resource?
Will I design the module to stand alone?
To whom am I directing the module?
What materials can I provide to students?
How can the module prepare students for classes that follow?
What do I expect students to bring to class?
Am I assuming any class sizes, facility constraints, boundary conditions?
Are there logistical problems? If so, have I considered alternative
conditions?

The TEACHER & STUDENT ROLES, RELATIONSHIPS
How can:
- I help students with motivation?
- I model behaviors I want them to learn?
- students contribute to development of the module?

What roles do I envision for
- teaching assistants
- tutors
- academic computing staff
- librarians
- others?

Where will I be in the classroom and what will I be doing?
What do students know about the module topic, and how can I find out?
What characteristics do I want to know initially about my students?
Will the module change my relationship with students?

The LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES/ACTIVITIES
How can the module help students to:
-think like a scientist (See Tool Kit)
- think creatively
- synthesize
- work collaboratively
- design experiments
- ask questions
- learn as individual scholars?

What:
- kind of learning styles will my module address?
- hands-on activities will I have?
- kinds of written and reading assignments will I make?
- kinds of other assignments?

How can:
- I use models and demos?
- I help them find resources to solve problems they want to solve?

Will there be enough in-class processing time?
How much time will students need to spend, in and out of class, to succeed?
How many media (stimuli) do I intend to use? Which senses will I stimulate?\

The PROBLEM AREAS/DIFFICULTIES
Can I anticipate likely problem areas for students?
What are common misconceptions about the topic?
What will be the most difficult parts of this module for students to comprehend
and for me to implement?
Questions to consider at a FUTURE STAGE
Can the module be taught by someone else?
What advantage is there to using this module instead of standard material?
Why should an instructor do this module?
What activities from my module would be appropriate at workshops for developers
of other modules?
Where in the first 2 years of the undergraduate chemistry curriculum should
this module be incorporated, or doesn't it matter?

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