Other education

Why you can pass tests and still fail in the real world, at Distinguished McElvain Lecture in Physical Chemistry, University of Wisconsin Madison (Madison, WI), Tuesday, May 6, 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 you can pass tests and still fail in the real world
How the mind tricks us: visualizations and visual illusions, at the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Services, Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), Thursday, January 17, 2008:
Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning
Flat space, deep learning, at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia), Friday, June 5, 2015:
The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding... Read more about Flat space, deep learning
The make-believe world of real-world physics, at NATO Advanced Study Institute on Biophotonics: Spectroscopy, imaging, sensing, and manipulation, Centro Ettore Majorana (Erice, Sicily), Friday, July 10, 2009:
That physics describes the real world is a given for physicists. In spite of tireless efforts by instructors to connect physics to the real world, students walk away from physics courses believing physicists live in a world of their own. Are students clueless about the real world? Or are we perhaps deluding ourselves and misleading our students about the real world?
Flat space, deep learning, at Symposium on “Engaged Learning of Materials Science & Engineering in the 21st Century” at the MRS Annual Fall Meeting (Boston, MA), Monday, November 30, 2015:
The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding... Read more about Flat space, deep learning
Academic Physicists' Introductory Teaching Improvement Efforts at Major Research Universities, at American Association of Physics Teachers Summer Meeting 2010 (Portland, OR, USA), Saturday, July 17, 2010
There is no shortage of PER literature describing research-based, instructional strategies for improving teaching in introductory college physics courses. [1] It remains, however, that most physics faculty with visions of improved teaching based on such strategies must overcome significant barriers, including a reward system structured to direct faculty attention toward research and away from pedagogy. [2] Barriers to teaching improvement are compounded at major research universities (MRUs), where science faculty must balance extreme demands for research productivity with their teaching... Read more about Academic Physicists' Introductory Teaching Improvement Efforts at Major Research Universities
How assessment drives (or stifles) learning, at Teaching Retreat, ETH Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland), Monday, January 16, 2017:
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 How assessment drives (or stifles) learning
The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at 3rd Annual Conference of Educational Research Center (Brummana, Lebanon), Sunday, March 27, 2011:
Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't work. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.
Rethinking student learning assessment in higher education, at The University in the 21st Century: From Teaching to Learning in Costa Rica, Initiative for the Development of Academic Innovation, LASPAU, Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Friday, October 21, 2011:
Open the doors to any classroom across the globe and you will observe an almost universal model for the evaluation of student learning. Instructors stand at the front of a lecture hall, teach content, students (at least we hope) attempt to learn that content, and then instructors evaluate that content learning through traditional assessments such as multiple-choice exams, quizzes, or research papers. Most of these conventional approaches to evaluation are one-dimensional and not aligned with overarching learning goals that relate to competencies students actually need to progress successfully... Read more about Rethinking student learning assessment in higher education
The make-believe world of real-world physics, at Physics Colloquium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), Thursday, May 17, 2012:
That physics describes the real world is a given for physicists. In spite of tireless efforts by instructors to connect physics to the real world, students walk away from physics courses believing physicists live in a world of their own. Are students clueless about the real world? Or are we perhaps deluding ourselves and misleading our students about the real world?
Flat space, deep learning, at Auburn University (Auburn, AL), Friday, September 19, 2014:
The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding... Read more about Flat space, deep learning
Why you can pass tests and still fail in the real world, at Innovations in the Classroom, Park Plaza Hotel (Boston, MA), Thursday, August 30, 2012
Why is it that stellar students sometimes fail in the workplace and dropouts succeed? Assessment has been called the "hidden curriculum" as it drives students' study habits. In this talk I will argue that most, if not all, assessment is inauthentic -- focussing on skills that are not relevant in life.
Catalyzing Learning using Learning Catalytics, at University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT), Monday, March 2, 2015:
Most -- if not all -- of the important skills in our life are acquired outside the traditional classroom setting. Yet we continue to teach using lectures where students passively take down information. Instead, we should really focus on the assimilation of that information and shift the focus from teaching to helping students learn. Over the past 20 years, instructors world-wide have begun to adopt Peer Instruction to get students to think in class. With the advent of new technology the process can be significantly improved. A new data-analytics driven audience response system does away with... Read more about Catalyzing Learning using Learning Catalytics

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