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Active learning in plant biology lectures

This is a set of slides from a workshop I run called "How to be a great teacher". It's an introduction to active learning strategies, so the workshop incorporates active learning. I've tried to indicate the tasks the workshop participants carry out, but if you have questions don't hesitate to contact me.

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Active learning in plant biology lectures

  1. 1. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists© 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists “How to be a great teacher” Mary Williams, ASPB July 2015 @PlantTeaching
  2. 2. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists TASK1. Think about a teacher you had that influenced your career What did that teacher to that made him or her memorable? How would you describe the characteristics of a great teacher? T-P-S
  3. 3. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists TASK1. Think about a teacher you had that influenced your career What did that teacher to that made him or her memorable? How would you describe the characteristics of a great teacher? T-P-S Note: This is a Think-Pair-Share activity, one of the easiest active learning strategies to implement. Each student thinks about a great teacher they had, then turns to their neighbor and the pairs discuss their recollections and discusses what traits they think are important for great teaching. Finally, I call on the class to share traits, which we list on the next slide (or, even better, a black board).
  4. 4. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists What “makes” a great teacher?
  5. 5. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists “Sage on the stage” or “Guide on the side” Photo credit: David Muir
  6. 6. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Most new teachers say they spent too much time focusing on the content of their teaching and not enough on student outcomes, assessment and engagement
  7. 7. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Great teachers focus on learning 2. Engagement: How do you focus on student learning in a large lecture hall? How can you help students get the most out of class time? 1. Learning objectives and assessment: What do you want students to walk away with? How do you encourage them to learn this?
  8. 8. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Great teachers •Define learning objectives •Communicate and practice learning objectives •Assess based on learning objectives
  9. 9. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Great teachers •Define learning objectives •Communicate and practice learning objectives •Assess based on learning objectives Students hate surprises If you want your students to learn to walk on a tightrope, Tell them the learning objective (to be able to walk on a tightrope) Practice the learning objective (use class time to practice this skill) Assess them on their ability to walk on a tightrope Don’t assess their ability to do a flip! If you want your students to learn to walk on a tightrope, Tell them the learning objective (to be able to walk on a tightrope) Practice the learning objective (use class time to practice this skill) Assess them on their ability to walk on a tightrope Don’t assess their ability to do a flip!
  10. 10. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists
  11. 11. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Ability to apply the process of science ConceptsCompetencies (skills) NSF (2011) VISION AND CHANGE IN UNDERGRADUATE BIOLOGY EDUCATION A CALL TO ACTION http://visionandchange.org/ Ability to apply the process of Science (e.g. design an experiment to test the hypothesis that….) Protein structure is determined by its amino acid sequence; environmental information is perceived and integrated into growth responses
  12. 12. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Bloom’s Taxonomy, and action verbs Design Evaluate Contrast Interpret Explain List
  13. 13. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Learning objectives (examples) Concepts •Define the basic functions of the five classic plant hormones •Evaluate the roles played by plants in ecosystems •Distinguish the role of osmosis and pressure in the movement of water in the plant body •Identify the limitations to agricultural yields under various conditions Competencies •Interpret genetic data •Identify positive and negative controls for an experiment •Write a lab report in the style of a journal article •Write a three page review article that includes ten primary references Attitude •Develop increased enthusiasm for plant biology
  14. 14. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists What do you want your students to know / be able to do? 1. Write two learning objectives for a lecture you would give to first year students on (pick one). • Plant evolution and diversity • Photosynthesis • Plant nutrition and the role of plants in nutrient cycles • Plant anatomy and development • Interactions between plants and insects and / or pathogens • Plant hormones 2. Write down how you could assess student’s achievement of these objectives
  15. 15. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Great teachers focus on learning 2. Engagement: How do you focus on student learning in a large lecture hall? How can you help students get the most out of class time?
  16. 16. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists http://www.lifescied.org/content/8/2/89.full
  17. 17. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Think – Pair (- Share) https://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=qQra4baNwP8
  18. 18. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Miller, S., Pfund, C., Pribbenow, C.M. and Handelsman, J. (2008). Scientific Teaching in Practice. Science. 322: 1329-1330.
  19. 19. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists “Flipped classroom”
  20. 20. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists In Class Assignment 1. Plant vacuoles are large, 90% of cell volume, which pushes the chloroplasts to the periphery of the cell. Why is this an advantage? 2. Draw and explain why chloroplasts have a double membrane (inner and outer)…note each membrane is a lipid bilayer. In which bilayer might one look for peptidoglycan? It turns out that glaucophytes (a type of freshwater algae) do retain a peptidoglycan layer. Why is this strong evidence in support of endosymbiosis? 3. Chloroplast genomes are small (~145 kb). Where did most of the genes in the original photosynthetic prokaryote go? Courtesy of Judy Brusslan, Cal State Long Beach
  21. 21. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists How do you engage students during a lecture period? Write a think – pair – share question that would help students engage in your plant biology lesson
  22. 22. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Learning objectives Pre-class assignment Post-class assignment Topic: By the end of this lesson students will be able to: Key concepts Engagement strategy
  23. 23. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Communication of information and ideas Communication of information and ideas Management and planning •What you expect from students, what you offer them •Course schedule, curriculum •Assignments •“Rules” •Learning objectives Assessment •Students need regular and informative feedback •Students need “grades”
  24. 24. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists Summary – great teachers focus on student learning • Identify what you want your students to get out of your course • Provide students with materials to learn from, and opportunities to practice their developing skills • Use (some) class time for skills development and problem solving • Assess your students meaningfully and fairly

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