Something to Think About
Throughout the day, take note of how this training is structured. What pieces exemplify the situated learning perspective, i.e., how are you, as an instructor-in-training, being brought into a new community of practice? Are there any places where we are using the cognitivist ideas/techniques described later in the training?
In Littky and Grabelle’s The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business, Kenneth Wesson wrote, “If poor inner-city children consistently outscored children from wealthy suburban homes on standardized tests, is anyone naive enough to believe that we would still insist on using these tests as indicators of success?” What are examples in your own experience of “objective” assessments that reinforce the status quo?
There have been many “models” of teaching/learning in the past. What model do you currently use (sub-consciously or consciously)?
Confronting the Contradiction
Describe a misconception you have encountered in your own learning or teaching and how to get learners to confront it.
The Two-Dimensional You
If you were a cartoon character teacher, who would you be? What does that say about your teaching style?
Feedback on Feedback
Watch either this video (8:40) or this one (11:42). Take notes about the presentation, and divide those into four groups based on whether they are positive or negative and whether they are about the content (what was said) or the presentation (how it was said, e.g., body language). Compare your notes with those made by other people, and with the feedback given by your instructor.
Feedback on Yourself, Part II
Later in the training, repeat the first challenge exercise; however, when it comes time to give feedback, use the same 2x2 scheme in the previous challenge.
Learn More About Feedback
Read Gormally et al’s “Feedback about Teaching in Higher Ed” and discuss ways you could make peer-to-peer feedback a routine part of your teaching. You may also enjoy Gawande’s “Personal Best”, which looks at the value of having a coach.
Construct a 3-step faded example to introduce an idea of your choice. What problem-solving strategy does it teach?
Compare one of the existing Data Carpentry or Software Carpentry lesson episodes to the motivational checklist presented earlier. What is the lesson doing (if anything) to engage learners and convince them its material is worth mastering?
Personal Story About Demotivation
Write a paragraph or two about something that happened in your educational career that demotivated you, and explain what could have been done afterward to fix it. After everyone has completed, draw out common demotivational themes.
What Do You Believe About Teaching? Challenge
Complete the Teaching Perspectives Inventory. Are you surprised about what it says about your view of teaching?
Remember a time when you felt like you didn’t know what you were doing. Describe the emotions that you felt (such as sad, anxious, scared).
- Where were you? What were you doing? With whom?
- What thoughts were going through your mind at this time?
- What facts or evidence support these thoughts?
- What facts or evidence do not support these thoughts?
Write an alternative thought that takes this evidence into account. How do you feel about this situation now?
Are the following learning objectives strong or weak? How could you improve some of the weak objectives?
- Learn what a Python library is and what it can be used for.
- Be able to use
dplyrand provide simple examples.
- Understand the importance of using version control.
- Understand data slicing/manipulation.
Classify Learning Objectives
Develop Learning Objectives
In groups of 2-4, choose one of the following topics (or something else that you might explain to a senior high school class) and develop learning objectives for a 10-minute introductory lesson on it. Compare your learning objectives to those developed by other groups: how easy or hard would it be for an independent observer to determine whether your objectives or the other groups’ had been achieved?
- The difference between velocity and momentum.
- Volcanic, fold, and block mountain formation.
- The gambler’s fallacy in statistics.
You have been asked to interview an undergraduate who wants to work with your group for the summer. What task could you ask her to do that would tell you whether she has the technical skills the job requires? (Try to choose something that she could reasonably be expected to accomplish in under 15 minutes.) How would you describe the task to her? And how would you describe the criteria for completing it successfully?