2014

Peer Instruction Part II, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Thursday, December 18, 2014:
The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science and math courses at the college and secondary level. In this workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is demonstrated,... Read more about Peer Instruction Part II
Peer Instruction, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Thursday, December 18, 2014:
Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Peer Instruction
Femtosecond Materials Processing I: Transparent and soft materials, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Wednesday, December 17, 2014:
The intersection of materials research and ultrafast optical science is producing many valuable fundamental scientific results and applications, and the trend is expected to evolve as new and exciting discoveries are made. Femtosecond laser micromachining presents unique capabilities for three-dimensional, material-independent, sub-wavelength processing. At the same time the surface processing of materials permits the creation of novel materials that cannot (yet) be created under other conditions. In the first part of this talk we will discuss how when the ultashort laser pulses are focused... Read more about Femtosecond Materials Processing I: Transparent and soft materials
Femtosecond Materials Processing II: Nontransparent materials, at Tsing Hua Univeristy (Beijing, China), Wednesday, December 17, 2014:
The intersection of materials research and ultrafast optical science is producing many valuable fundamental scientific results and applications, and the trend is expected to evolve as new and exciting discoveries are made. Femtosecond laser micromachining presents unique capabilities for three-dimensional, material-independent, sub-wavelength processing. At the same time the surface processing of materials permits the creation of novel materials that cannot (yet) be created under other conditions. In the first part of this talk we will discuss how when the ultashort laser pulses are focused... Read more about Femtosecond Materials Processing II: Nontransparent materials
Peer Instruction, at Beijing Normal University (Beijing, China), Tuesday, December 16, 2014:
Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Peer Instruction
Peer Instruction, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China), Monday, December 15, 2014:
The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science and math courses at the college and secondary level. In this short workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is... Read more about Peer Instruction
Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai, China), Monday, December 15, 2014:
Education is more than just transfer of information, yet that is what is mostly done in large introductory courses -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available in printed form) and for students the main purpose of lectures is to take down as many notes as they can. Few students have the ability, motivation, and discipline to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing... Read more about Memorization or understanding: are we teaching the right thing?
The Principles and Practice of Physics, at University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), Thursday, December 11, 2014:
The Principles and Practice of Physics is a groundbreaking new calculus-based introductory physics textbook that uses a unique organization and pedagogy to allow students to develop a true conceptual understanding of physics alongside the quantitative skills needed in the course. The book organizes introductory physics around the conservation principles and provides a unified contemporary view of introductory physics. In this talk we will discuss the unique architecture of the book, the conservation-laws-first approach, and results obtained with this book.
Assessment: The silent killer of learning, at University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), Thursday, December 11, 2014:
Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? One reason is that most, if not all, of our current assessment practices are inauthentic. Just as the lecture focuses on the delivery of information to students, so does assessment often focus on having students regurgitate that same information back to the instructor. Consequently, assessment fails to focus on the skills that are relevant in life in the 21st century. Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it is an important driver of students' study habits. Unless we rethink our approach to... Read more about Assessment: The silent killer of learning
Why can students pass tests but fail at life?, at SSAT National Conference 2014 (Manchester, UK), Friday, December 5, 2014:
Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace while dropouts succeed? One reason is that most, if not all, of our current assessment practices are inauthentic. Just as the lecture focuses on the delivery of information to students, so does assessment often focus on having students regurgitate that same information back to the instructor. Consequently, assessment fails to focus on the skills that are relevant in life in the 21st century. Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it is an important driver of students' study habits. Unless we rethink our approach to... Read more about Why can students pass tests but fail at life?

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