A more interactive, discussion- and quiz-based style of university teaching brings dramatic benefits to science learning, according to a new study.
For the crucial week 12 lectures, the intervention students were led by Deslauriers and Schelew (both of whom have fairly limited teaching experience) and took part in a series of discussions in small groups, group tasks, quizzes on pre-class reading, clicker questions (each student answers questions using an electronic device that feeds their answers back to the teacher), and instructor feedback. There was no formal lecturing. The aim, according to the authors, was:
“…to have the students spend all their time in class engaged in deliberate practice at ‘thinking scientifically’ in the form of making and testing predictions and arguments about the relevant topics, solving problems, and critiquing their own reasoning and that of others.”
The control group students had their usual lectures, covering the same material as the intervention students and they were given the same pre-class reading.
The results on the test were striking. The intervention group averaged 74 per cent correct, compared with 41 per cent correct in the control group. Factoring out the performance that could be achieved purely through guessing, the researchers said this meant the intervention group had performed twice as well as controls (the effect size was 2.5 standard deviations). Student feedback on the intervention was also overwhelmingly positive: 90 per cent of students said they’d enjoyed the interactive technique.
I have never been as focused on Lent as I have this year, and it has been an amazing spiritual experience for me. Not only did I stay away from lots of things (espn, video games, fast food) but I added a lot of spiritual media into my life, reading a lot of books and other things and intentionally thinking about God in new ways.
The Passion week was especially meaningful. I followed the excellent blog http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/ who showed what Jesus did every day during that week. By Thursday I was really getting into the emotions of Jesus and what it would be to be a follower of him at the time. On good Friday, someone from the church had a campfire, sang songs, and made 3 crosses. It was a great time of reflection. I decided to fast from Jesus’ death till Easter morning, and failed miserably, eating Lasagna on Saturday night. I felt terrible, but then I realized how similar I felt to how many of the disciples, including Peter would have felt, but they would have felt their failure and hopelessness so much more. Easter came to me this year as an end of my failure and an entering into the Hope that the resurrection brought.
So far, lent really hasn’t meant anything for me. The only thing i’ve given up is playing the gamecube, but i probably would have given that up already, as i was starting to get bored. How to make it more amazing and give more of myself to it. Obviously, with Roman, its a process to learn how to use time well and still take care of him. How to be productive and still love well…
How can life be so small? How can Roman be just as much of a person as I am and still only weigh 7lbs? The wonder of life! Its amazing to me how much I do love and miss him when i’m away from him. And yet he does nothing for me. He just asks of me. But when i’m away from him, all i think is how much i want to just hold him.
So, this year, lent will be different. I sit here as my wife lays in bed, waiting for Roman to be born. My Wife. My Roman. My God, My God, Why haven’t you for forsaken me? Why do you love me so? Why do you let me have so many blessing? The worries of my life, they wash away as I think of you in this. I marvel at what you have done in people; that I have no worries of Caity’s delivery, that I know that Roman will be okay.