Evidence Is Mounting That Calculus Should Be Changed. Will Instructors Heed It? — from edsurge.com by Daniel Mollenkamp

Calculus is a critical on-ramp to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). But getting to those careers means surviving the academic journey.

While there’s been progress of late, it’s been “uneven” and Black, Hispanic and women workers are still underrepresented in some STEM fields. Traditional methods of calculus instruction may be knocking students off the path to these vital occupations, which is why advocates warn that getting diverse students into these careers may require instructional models more responsive to students. Meanwhile, the country is struggling to fill vacancies in related fields like semiconductor manufacturing, despite sizable investments — a feat that may require stabilizing the pipeline.

Good news: There’s mounting evidence that changing calculus instruction works for the groups usually pushed out of STEM. At least, that’s according to a randomized study recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

 

Are your students prepared for active learning? You can help them! — from The Educationalist at educationalist.substack.com by Alexandra Mihai

What does active learning require from students?
There is no secret that PBL and all other active learning approaches are much more demanding from students compared to traditional methods, mainly in terms of skills and attitudes towards learning. Here are some of the aspects where students, especially when first faced to active learning, seem to struggle:

  • Formulating own learning goals and following through with independent study. While in traditional teaching the learning goals are given to students, in PBL (or at least in some of its purest variants), they need to come up with their own, for each problem they are solving. This requires understanding the problem well but also a certain frame of mind where one can assess what is necessary to solve it and make a plan of how to go about it (independently and as a group). All these seemingly easy steps are often new to students and something they intrinsically expect from us as educators.

From DSC:
The above excerpt re: formulating one’s own learning goals reminded me of project management and learning how to be a project manager.

It reminded me of a project that I was assigned back at Kraft (actually Kraft General Foods at the time).  It was an online-based directory of everyone in the company at the time. When it was given to me, several questions arose in my mind:
  • Where do I start?
  • How do I even organize this project?
  • What is the list of to-do’s?
  • Who will I need to work with?

Luckily I had a mentor/guide who helped me get going and an excellent contact with the vendor who educated me and helped me get the ball rolling. 

I’ll end with another quote and a brief comment:

Not being afraid of mistakes and learning from them.
The education system, at all stages, still penalises mistakes, often with long term consequences. So it’s no wonder students are afraid of making mistakes…
From DSC:
How true.
 

The invisible cost of resisting AI in higher education — from blogs.lse.ac.uk by Dr. Philippa Hardman

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The implications of this development are perhaps more significant than we realise. There has been much discussion in recent months about the risks associated with the rise of generative AI for higher education, with most of the discussion centring around the challenge that ChatGPT poses to academic integrity.

However, much less work has been done on exploring the negative – even existential – consequences that might stem from not embracing AI in higher education. Are these new principles enough to reverse the risk of irrelevance?

What if we reimagine “learning” in higher education as something more than the recall and restructuring of existing information? What if instead of lectures, essays and exams we shifted to a model of problem sets, projects and portfolios?

I am often asked what this could look like in practice. If we turn to tried and tested instructional strategies which optimise for learner motivation and mastery, it would look something like this…

Also relevant/see:

Do or Die? — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
The invisible cost of resisting AI in higher education

Excerpt:

  • Embracing AI in the higher education sector prepares students for the increasingly technology-driven job market and promotes more active, participatory learning experiences which we know lead to better outcomes for both students and employers.
  • With the rising popularity of alternative education routes such as bootcamps and apprenticeships, it’s crucial for traditional higher education to engage positively with AI in order to maintain its competitiveness and relevance.

For example, a teacher crafting a lesson plan no longer has to repeat that they’re teaching 3rd grade science. A developer preferring efficient code in a language that’s not Python – they can say it once, and it’s understood. Grocery shopping for a big family becomes easier, with the model accounting for 6 servings in the grocery list.


This is the worst AI will ever be, so focused are educators on the present they can’t see the future — from donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com by Donald Clark

Teaching technology
There is also the misconception around the word ‘generative’, the assumption that all it does is create blocks of predictable text. Wrong. May of its best uses in learning are its ability to summarise, outline, provide guidance, support and many other pedagogic features that can be built into the software. This works and will mean tutors, teachers, teaching support, not taking support, coaches and many other services will emerge that aid both teaching and learning. They are being developed in their hundreds as we speak.

This simple fact, that this is the first technology to ‘learn’ and learn fast, on scale, continuously, across a range of media and tasks, it what makes it extraordinary.


On holding back the strange AI tide — from oneusefulthing.org by Ethan Mollick
There is no way to stop the disruption. We need to channel it instead

And empowering workers is not going to be possible with a top-down solution alone. Instead, consider:

  • Radical incentives to ensure that workers are willing to share what they learn. If they are worried about being punished, they won’t share. If they are worried they won’t be rewarded, they won’t share. If they are worried that the AI tools that they develop might replace them, or their coworkers, they won’t share. Corporate leaders need to figure out a way to reassure and reward workers, something they are not used to doing.
  • Empowering user-to-user innovation. Build prompt libraries that help workers develop and share prompts with other people inside the organization. Open up tools broadly to workers to use (while still setting policies around proprietary information), and see what they come up with. Create slack time for workers to develop, and discuss, AI approaches.
  • Don’t rely on outside providers or your existing R&D groups to tell you the answer. We are in the very early days of a new technology. Nobody really knows anything about the best ways to use AI, and they certainly don’t know the best ways to use it in your company. Only by diving in, responsibly, can you hope to figure out the best use cases.

Teaching: Preparing yourself for AI in the classroom — from chronicle.com by Beth McMurtrie

Auburn’s modules cover the following questions:

  • What do I need to know about AI?
  • What are the ethical considerations in a higher-ed context?
  • How will AI tools affect the courses I teach?
  • How are students using AI tools, and how can I partner with my students?
  • How do I need to rethink exams, papers, and projects I assign?
  • How do I redesign my courses in the wake of AI disruption?
  • What other AI tools or capabilities are coming, and how can I design for them?
  • What conversations need to happen in my department or discipline, and what is my role?

Transforming Higher Education: AI as an Assistive Technology for Inclusive Learning — from fenews.co.uk by Gain Hoole

In recent years, I have witnessed the transformative power of technology in higher education. One particular innovation that has captured my attention is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI holds tremendous potential as an assistive technology for students with reasonable adjustments in further education (FE) and higher education (HE).

In this comprehensive blog post, I will delve into the multifaceted aspects of AI as an assistive technology, exploring its benefits, considerations, challenges, and the future it holds for transforming higher education.

The integration of AI as an assistive technology can create an inclusive educational environment where all students, regardless of disabilities or specific learning needs, have equal access to educational resources. Real-time transcription services, text-to-speech capabilities, and personalized learning experiences empower students like me to engage with course content in various formats and at our own pace (Fenews, 2023). This not only removes barriers but also fosters a more inclusive and diverse academic community.


5 Ways to Ease Students Off the Lecture and Into Active Learning — from chronicle.com by Jermey T. Murphy
Lecturing endures in college classrooms in part because students prefer that style of teaching. How can we shift that preference?

What can we do? Here are five considerations I’ll be following this coming fall in response to that nagging “less discussion, more instruction” evaluation.

  • Lecture … sparingly. 
  • Routinely ask how the course is going.
  • Be transparent.
  • …and more

A three-part series re: courseware out at The Chronicle of Higher Education:

  1. Millions of Students a Year Are Required to Buy Courseware. Often, It Replaces the Professor. — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
    .
  2. Courseware Can Be Integral to a Course. Why, Then, Are Students Footing the Bill for It? — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
    The Homework Tax | For students already struggling to afford college, courseware can add to the burden
    Their argument is multifold: For one, they say, products like these — which often deliver key elements of a course that an instructor would typically be responsible for, like homework, assessments, and grading — should not be the student’s burden. At least one student advocate said colleges, rather, should cover or subsidize the cost, as they do with software like learning-management systems, if they’re allowing faculty free rein to adopt the products.

    And the fact that students’ access to these products expires — sometimes after just a semester — rubs salt in the wound, and risks further disadvantaging students.
    .
  3. Bots Are Grabbing Students’ Personal Data When They Complete Assignments — from chronicle.com by Taylor Swaak
    When students use courseware, how much personal data is it collecting?

Institutions aren’t “letting the wolf into the henhouse”; instead, “we’re letting the hens out into a forest of wolves,” said Billy Meinke, an open educational resources technologist with the Outreach College at the University of Hawaii-Manoa who’s done research on publisher misuse of student data.
.


Here are five reading challenges to learn about learning this summer — from retrievalpractice.org by Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Here are five summer reading challenges to learn about the science of learning.

Important: make sure you remember what you learn! Engage yourself in retrieval practice and retrieve two things after each book, practice guide, and research article you read. Share your two things with our communities on Twitter and Facebook, make a list of what you’ve learned to boost your long-term learning,…


Assignment Makeovers in the AI Age: Essay Edition — from derekbruff.org Derek Bruff

Last week, I explored some ways an instructor might want to (or need to) redesign a reading response assignment for the fall, given the many AI text generation tools now available to students. This week, I want to continue that thread with another assignment makeover. Reading response assignments were just the warm up; now we’re tackling the essay assignment.


Here are ways professional education leaders can prepare students for the rise of AI — from highereddive.com by A. Benjamin Spencer
Institutions must adapt their curricula to incorporate artificial intelligence-related topics, the dean of William & Mary Law School argues.

First, they need to understand that the technological side of AI can no longer be simply left to the information technology experts. Regardless of the professional domain, understanding what AI is, how it works, how the underlying code and algorithms are designed, and what assumptions lie behind the computer code are important components to being able to use and consume the products of AI tools appropriately. 

 

Presenting to the Association of University Architects — from darcynorman.net by D’Arcy Norman, PhD

Excerpt:

Recently, I had the absolute pleasure to be invited to co-present at the 67th Annual Association of University Architects Conference, conveniently hosted this year in Calgary, and even more conveniently having one day’s sessions housed within the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. Our Vice Provost Teaching and Learning, Dr. Leslie Reid, was invited to share her experience in leading the Taylor Institute, and she brought in Dr. Natasha Kenny and myself to round out the session.

In planning for the session, we decided early on that we didn’t want to do A Presentation™. There would not be slides and slides of text, and no bullet points. We wanted to tell stories, and to learn from the ~100 expert university architects from across North America about how they approach the challenges we’ve faced in the last few years.

We broke the storytelling portion of the session into 3 parts:

  • Universality: Building for all or building for some (Leslie)
  • Planning: Tension between form and function (Natasha)
  • Flexibility: How to be flexible about flexibility (D’Arcy)

The TI Forum, during our session at the 2023 Association of University Architects conference. Photo by D'Arcy Norman

 

‘Guided play’ benefits kids—but what does that look like for parents? — from hechingerreport.org by Jackie Mader
Everyday interactions offer plenty of chances for playful learning

Excerpt:

So, it sounds like if there’s a learning goal that a parent has in mind, the way to do that is to engage in guided play versus setting a kid free to just do what they would like?
Yeah, definitely. So free play is fundamental to anyone’s life, right? We know that it can help social emotional development, physical development, and executive function development. It’s really important. But research is finding when there’s a learning goal, that guided play yields the best results for that. The reason why guided play is so effective is because it reflects these key characteristics of decades and decades of research of how we know how human brains learn best. We know that we learn best when we’re active, not passive, engaged, not distracted, when it’s meaningful, when it’s connected to what matters what we already know. When it’s iterative, so children can test and try out different ideas, and when they’re interacting socially with others, and when they’re joyful. And so that’s part of why guided play is so powerful.

 

Inviting Learners into Work That Matters — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • We’ve found pockets of excellence in three dozen high school visits this spring.
  • Where we’ve spotted evidence of deeper learning (i.e., engagement, critical thinking, excellent public products) it’s been work that matters to the learner and their community– it’s relevant, purposeful, and consequential work.

Students and teachers collaborating in a smart, active classroom type of setup at Barrington High's Incubatoredu class

 
 

Designing Virtual Edtech Faculty Development Workshops That Stick: 10 Guiding Principles — from er.educause.edu by Tolulope (Tolu) Noah
These ten principles offer guidance on ways to design and facilitate effective and engaging virtual workshops that leave faculty feeling better equipped to implement new edtech tools.

Excerpt:

I share here ten guiding principles that have shaped my design and facilitation of virtual synchronous edtech workshops. These guiding principles are based on lessons learned in both my previous role as a professional learning specialist at a major technology company and my current role as a faculty developer at a university. In the spirit of James M. Lang’s book Small Teaching, my hope is that the principles shared here may prompt reflection on the small yet impactful moves academic technology specialists, instructional designers, and educational developers can make to create virtual learning experiences whereby faculty leave feeling better equipped to implement the edtech tools they have learned.


Somewhat relevant/see:

Evidence-Based Learning Design 101 — by Dr. Philippa Hardman
A practical guide on how to bake the science of learning into the art of course design

Excerpt:

As I reflect on the experience and what I’ve learned so far, I thought I’d share a response to the question I probably get asked most: what process do you use to go from an idea to a designed learning experience?

So, let’s do a rapid review of the four step process I and my bootcamp alumni use – aka the DOMS™? process – to go from zero to a designed learning experience.

 

From DSC:
Let’s put together a nationwide campaign that would provide a website — or a series of websites if an agreement can’t be reached amongst the individual states — about learning how to learn. In business, there’s a “direct-to-consumer” approach. Well, we could provide a “direct-to-learner” approach — from cradle to grave. Seeing as how everyone is now required to be a lifelong learner, such a campaign would have enormous benefits to all of the United States. This campaign would be located in airports, subway stations, train stations, on billboards along major highways, in libraries, and in many more locations.

We could focus on things such as:

  • Quizzing yourself / retrieval practice
  • Spaced retrieval
  • Interleaving
  • Elaboration
  • Chunking
  • Cognitive load
  • Learning by doing (active learning)
  • Journaling
  • The growth mindset
  • Metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking)
  • Highlighting doesn’t equal learning
  • There is deeper learning in the struggle
  • …and more.

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more


NOTE:
The URL I’m using above doesn’t exist, at least not at the time of this posting.
But I’m proposing that it should exist.


A group of institutions, organizations, and individuals could contribute to this. For example The Learning Scientists, Daniel Willingham, Donald Clark, James Lang, Derek Bruff, The Learning Agency Lab, Robert Talbert, Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, Eva Keffenheim, Benedict Carey, Ken Bain, and many others.

Perhaps there could be:

  • discussion forums to provide for social interaction/learning
  • scheduled/upcoming webinars
  • how to apply the latest evidence-based research in the classroom
  • link(s) to learning-related platforms and/or resources
 

Some example components of a learning ecosystem [Christian]

A learning ecosystem is composed of people, tools, technologies, content, processes, culture, strategies, and any other resource that helps one learn. Learning ecosystems can be at an individual level as well as at an organizational level.

Some example components:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) such as faculty, staff, teachers, trainers, parents, coaches, directors, and others
  • Fellow employees
  • L&D/Training professionals
  • Managers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Librarians
  • Consultants
  • Types of learning
    • Active learning
    • Adult learning
    • PreK-12 education
    • Training/corporate learning
    • Vocational learning
    • Experiential learning
    • Competency-based learning
    • Self-directed learning (i.e., heutagogy)
    • Mobile learning
    • Online learning
    • Face-to-face-based learning
    • Hybrid/blended learning
    • Hyflex-based learning
    • Game-based learning
    • XR-based learning (AR, MR, and VR)
    • Informal learning
    • Formal learning
    • Lifelong learning
    • Microlearning
    • Personalized/customized learning
    • Play-based learning
  • Cloud-based learning apps
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Peer feedback
  • Job aids/performance tools and other on-demand content
  • Websites
  • Conferences
  • Professional development
  • Professional organizations
  • Social networking
  • Social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, other
  • Communities of practice
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including ChatGPT, learning agents, learner profiles, 
  • LMS/CMS/Learning Experience Platforms
  • Tutorials
  • Videos — including on YouTube, Vimeo, other
  • Job-aids
  • E-learning-based resources
  • Books, digital textbooks, journals, and manuals
  • Enterprise social networks/tools
  • RSS feeds and blogging
  • Podcasts/vodcasts
  • Videoconferencing/audio-conferencing/virtual meetings
  • Capturing and sharing content
  • Tagging/rating/curating content
  • Decision support tools
  • Getting feedback
  • Webinars
  • In-person workshops
  • Discussion boards/forums
  • Chat/IM
  • VOIP
  • Online-based resources (periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, and others)
  • Learning spaces
  • Learning hubs
  • Learning preferences
  • Learning theories
  • Microschools
  • MOOCs
  • Open courseware
  • Portals
  • Wikis
  • Wikipedia
  • Slideshare
  • TED talks
  • …and many more components.

These people, tools, technologies, etc. are constantly morphing — as well as coming and going in and out of our lives.

 

 

What factors help active learning classrooms succeed? — from rtalbert.org Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

The idea that the space in which you do something, affects the thing you do is the basic premise behind active learning classrooms (ALCs).

The biggest message I get from this study is that in order to have success with active learning classrooms, you can’t just build them — they have to be introduced as part of an ecosystem that touches almost all parts of the daily function of a university: faculty teaching, faculty development and support, facilities, and the Registrar’s Office to name a few. Without that ecosystem before you build an ALC, it seems hard to have success with students after it’s built. You’re more likely to have an expensive showcase that looks good but ultimately does not fulfill its main purpose: Promoting and amplifying active learning, and moving the culture of a campus toward active engagement in the classroom.

From DSC:
Thank you Robert for your article/posting here! And thank you for being one of the few faculty members who:

  • Regularly share information out on LinkedIn, Twitter, and your blog (something that is all too rare for faculty members throughout higher education)
  • Took a sabbatical to go work at a company that designs and develops numerous options for implementing active learning setups throughout the worlds of higher education, K12 education, and the corporate world as well. You are taking your skills to help contribute to the corporate world, while learning things out in the corporate world, and then  taking these learnings back into the world of higher education.

This presupposes something controversial: That the institution will take a stand on the issue that there is a preferred way to teach, namely active learning, and that the institution will be moving toward making active learning the default pedagogy at the institution. Putting this stake in the ground, and then investing not only in facilities but in professional development and faculty incentives to make it happen, again calls for vigorous, sustained leadership — at the top, and especially by the teaching/learning center director.

Robert Talbert


 

How to Do Screen Recording with Just Your Browser — from Hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Do you know you can perform screen recording without using any native tool provided by your operating system or any 3rd party screen recording app?

Here’s an awesome screen recording tool by Google that you need to know about if you haven’t already. And all you need is your Google Chrome browser.

To start, go to the Google Admin Toolbox website and click on Screen Recorder.

Speaking of applications and tools, also see:

xrai.glass

 

Welcome To Day One Of #Appvent22 — from ictevangelist.com by Mark Anderson

What is Book Creator? Tips & Tricks — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Book Creator is a free tool that allows users to create multimedia ebooks

Excerpt:

Book Creator is a free education tool designed to enable students to engage with class material in a direct and active way by creating multimedia ebooks with a variety of functions.

 Available as a web app on Chromebooks, laptops, and tablets, and also as a standalone iPad app, Book Creator is a digital resource that helps students explore their creative sides while learning.

The tool lends itself well to active learning and collaborative projects of all kinds, and is appropriate for various subjects and age groups.

 

An obituary for education—or not? — from brookings.edu by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer M. Zosh, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Elias Blinkoff, and Molly Scott

Excerpt:

MAKING SCHOOLS WORK
The science of learning offers a blueprint of how children in our future can and will succeed. For the last three decades, researchers made enormous progress in understanding how human brains learn. If we can teach in a way that capitalizes on these findings—if we can apply the science to the classrooms—we will have evidence-based ways of helping children grow the suite of skills that will make them successful in today’s classrooms and the workplaces of tomorrow. Our Brookings report, A New Path to Educational Reform and our book Making Schools Work: Bringing the Science of Learning to Joyful Classroom Practice, detail how this research in the science of learning can offer a scalable, evidenced based path to re-invigorating and re-imagining education for our time.

Children learn when they are active, not passive observers of what is taught. Children learn when they are engaged in the material and not distracted, when the information is meaningfully connected to their knowledge in ways that are culturally responsive. They learn best in social contexts, when there are strong teacher-student and peer relationships, when the information is iteratively presented multiple times in slightly different ways, and when the learning is joyful. Yes, it is possible to have joyful teaching that affords deeper learning. When we teach in ways that the brain learns, the learning “sticks” and generalizes to new problems and new solutions.

 

Teaching: Flipping a Class Helps — but Not for the Reason You’d Think — from the Teaching newsletter out at The Chronicle of Higher Education by Beckie Supiano

Excerpt:

The authors propose a different model of flipping that gives their paper its title, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed — Rethinking Flipped Learning: A Review of Meta-Analyses and a Subsequent Meta-Analysis.”

Their model:

  • Fail: Give students a chance to try solving problems. They won’t have all the information needed to arrive at the solution, but the attempt activates their prior learning and primes them for the coming content.
  • Flip: Deliver the content ahead of class, perhaps in a video lecture.
  • Fix: During class time, a traditional lecture can deepen understanding and correct misperceptions.
  • Feed: Formative assessment lets students check their level of understanding.

I find this paper interesting for a number of reasons. It ties into a challenge I’d like to dig into in the future: the gap that can exist between a teaching approach as described in research literature and as applied in the classroom.

From DSC:
Though I haven’t read this analysis (please accept my apology here), I would hope that it would also mention one of the key benefits of the flipped classroom approach — giving students more control over the pacing of the content. Students can stop, fast-forward, rewind, and pause the content as necessary. This is very helpful for all students, but especially for students who don’t have English as their primary language.

I like this approach because if students fail to solve the problem at first, they will likely be listening more/very carefully as to how to solve it:

Drawing on related research, we proposed a more specific model for flipping, “Fail, Flip, Fix, and Feed” whereby students are asked to first engage in generating solutions to novel problems even if they fail to generate the correct solutions, before receiving instructions.

Plus, students will begin to recall/activate their prior knowledge on a subject in order to try to solve the problem. That retrieval practice in and of itself can be helpful.

 

Learning from Our Students: Student Perspectives on Good Teaching — from everylearnereverywhere.org; with thanks to Beth McMurtrie for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Twenty-two students trusted us with their stories and their reflections on good teaching. We honor that trust and hope that instructors who read this document gain as much insight about teaching from the students as we did. While we often write of students in the plural, each one of these students had an individual experience with learning and therefore a unique story to tell about good teaching. The key takeaways from their stories are:

  1. Students want to be recognized as individuals and appreciated in the classroom.
  2. Students want real life in the classroom.
  3. Students want to be treated with respect and trust.

We hope readers will likewise ask their own students, “What do your best instructors do?” and use that feedback to continuously improve their craft as teachers.

Out of 22 students:

active learning and a sense of belonging were the most frequently mentioned items from these 22 students

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian