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Teaching students to think like experts using peer instruction - CSUgrit

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Slides for a workshop on teaching students to think like experts using peer instruction at the Cal State University Symposium on University Teaching.

Peter Newbury
UC San Diego
March 13, 2015

Published in: Education
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Teaching students to think like experts using peer instruction - CSUgrit

  1. 1. Thinking like experts1 “Cows,” said the frog.“Cows!They have four legs, horns, eat grass and carry pink bags of milk.” From “Fish is Fish” by Leo Lionni (1970) How to teach your students to think like experts
  2. 2. How to Teach Your Students to Think Like Experts Peter Newbury Center forTeaching Development, UC San Diego Unless otherwise noted, content is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-Non Commercial 3.0 License. pnewbury@ucsd.edu peternewbury.org @polarisdotca #CSUgrit March 13, 2015
  3. 3. My goals for you 3 By the end of this workshop, you will be able to illustrate with examples how effective peer instruction builds on the key findings of how people learn, in particular, how it help to develop expertise recount the “choreography” of peer instruction critique peer instruction questions, identifying their strengths and weaknesses show excitement, not anxiety, when someone suggests you use “clickers” in your class walk out with a collection of questions you can adapt to your own discipline
  4. 4. Why are we here? Thinking like experts4 What do you think students are doing in a typical university class? A) listening B) absorbing C) learning D) note-taking E) distracted
  5. 5. How People Learn Thinking like experts5 3 Key Findings 3 Implications forTeaching 3 Designs for Classroom Environment
  6. 6. Key Finding 1 Thinking like experts6 Students come to the classroom with preconceptions about how the world works. If their initial understanding is not engaged, they may fail to grasp the new concepts and information that are taught, or they may learn them for the purposes of a test but revert to their preconceptions outside of the classroom. (How People Learn, p. 14)
  7. 7. Implications for Teaching 1 Thinking like experts7 Teachers must draw out and work with the preexisting understandings that their students bring with them. (How People Learn, p. 19) Schools and classrooms must be learner centered. (How People Learn, p. 23) Classroom Environments 1
  8. 8. Key Finding 2 Thinking like experts8 To develop competence in an area, students must: a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge, b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application. (How People Learn,p. 16)
  9. 9. 9 Thinking like experts
  10. 10. Implications for Teaching 2 Thinking like experts10 Teachers must teach some subject matter in depth, providing many examples in which the same concept is at work and providing a firm foundation of factual knowledge. Classroom Environments 2 To provide a knowledge-centered environment, attention must be given to what is taught (information, subject matter), why it is taught (understanding), and what competence or mastery looks like. (How People Learn,p. 20) (How People Learn,p 24.)
  11. 11. Key Finding 3 Thinking like experts11 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them. (How People Learn, p. 18)
  12. 12. Aside: metacognition Thinking like experts12 Metacognition refers to one’s knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes or anything related to them. For example, I am engaging in metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learningA than B. ([2], [3]) cognitionmeta
  13. 13. Key Finding 3 Thinking like experts13 A “metacognitive” approach to instruction can help students learn to take control of their own learning by defining learning goals and monitoring their progress in achieving them. (How People Learn, p. 18)
  14. 14. Implications for Teaching 3 Thinking like experts14 The teaching of metacognitive skills should be integrated into the curriculum in a variety of subject areas. Classroom Environments 3 Formative assessments — ongoing assessments designed to make students’ thinking visible to both teachers and students — are essential. (How People Learn, p. 21) (How People Learn, p. 24)
  15. 15. What the best college teachers do Thinking like experts15 More than anything else, the best teachers try to create a natural critical learning environment: natural because students encounter skills, habits, attitudes, and information they are trying to learn embedded in questions and tasks they find fascinating – authentic tasks that arouse curiosity and become intrinsically interesting, critical because students learn to think critically, to reason from evidence, to examine the quality of their reasoning using a variety of intellectual standards, to make improvements while thinking, and to ask probing and insightful questions about the thinking of other people. (Bain, p. 99)
  16. 16. In natural critical learning environments Thinking like experts16 students encounter safe yet challenging conditions in which they can try, fail, receive feedback, and try again without facing a summative evaluation. fail receive feedback (Bain, p. 108) try
  17. 17. Peer Instruction Thinking like experts17
  18. 18. Introductory Chemistry Thinking like experts18 Today, we’ll be learning about changes of state. Remember, there are 3 states (also called “phases”) of matter: solid liquid gas
  19. 19. Thinking like experts19 Melt chocolate over low heat. Remove the chocolate from the heat.What will happen to the chocolate? A) It will condense. B) It will evaporate. C) It will freeze. (Question: Sujatha Raghu from Braincandy via LearningCatalytics) (Image: CIM9926 by number657 on flickr CC)
  20. 20. Chemistry learning outcomes Thinking like experts20 Students will be able to name all 6 changes of state translate back and forth between technical (“melt”) and plain English (“solid into liquid”) Imagine… misconception?
  21. 21. PI promotes expert-like thinking Thinking like experts21 students teach each other while they may still hold or remember their novice preconceptions students discuss the concepts in their own (novice) language each student finds out what s/he does (not) know the instructor finds out what the students (do not) know and reacts, building on their initial understanding and preconceptions. students practice how to think and communicate like experts
  22. 22. Typical Episode of Peer Instruction Thinking like experts22 1. Instructor poses a conceptually-challenging, multiple-choice question. 2. Students think on their own and vote using clickers, ABCD cards, PollEverywhere,… 3. The instructor asks students to “turn to your neighbors convince them you’re right.” 4. After that conversation, students may vote again. 5. The instructor leads a class-wide discussion concluding with why the right answers are right and the wrong answers are wrong.
  23. 23. Peer Instruction Thinking like experts23 Think-Pair-Share 2-minute pause with thought-prompt
  24. 24. clarity Students waste no effort trying to figure out what’s being asked. context Is this topic currently being covered in class? learning outcome Does the question make students do the right things to demonstrate they grasp the concept? distractors What do the “wrong” answers tell you about students’ thinking? difficulty Is the question too easy? too hard? stimulates thoughtful discussion Will the question engage the students and spark thoughtful discussions?Are there openings for you to continue the discussion? What makes a good question? Thinking like experts24 (Adapted from Stephanie Chasteen, CU Boulder)
  25. 25. Thinking like experts25  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  26. 26. Try it yourself… Thinking like experts26 1. Please form groups of 2 or 3 by discipline (look for colored cards) 2. Critique questions in the collection closest to your discipline  for pairs of questions, which one is better?Why?  for single questions, is it good or bad? Can you write a better one?  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  27. 27. Thinking like experts27  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  28. 28. Thinking like experts28  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  29. 29. Thinking like experts29  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  30. 30. Thinking like experts30  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  31. 31. Thinking like experts31  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  32. 32. Thinking like experts32  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  33. 33. Thinking like experts33  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  34. 34. Thinking like experts34  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  35. 35. Thinking like experts35  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  36. 36. Thinking like experts36  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  37. 37. Thinking like experts37  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  38. 38. Thinking like experts38  clarity  context  learning outcome  distractors  difficulty  stimulates thoughtful discussion
  39. 39. t h e l e a r n i n g c y c l e Peer instruction helps students learn... Thinking like experts39 BEFORE DURING AFTER setting up instruction developing knowledge assessing learning Adapted from Rosie Piller, Ian Beatty, Stephanie Chasteen
  40. 40. t h e l e a r n i n g c y c l e Peer instruction helps students learn... Thinking like experts40 BEFORE DURING AFTER setting up instruction developing knowledge assessing learning Adapted from Rosie Piller, Ian Beatty, Stephanie Chasteen The students have not resolved Concept X. But Concept X has been activated and they know why it is interesting.
  41. 41. t h e l e a r n i n g c y c l e Peer instruction helps students learn... Thinking like experts41 BEFORE DURING AFTER setting up instruction developing knowledge assessing learning Adapted from Rosie Piller, Ian Beatty, Stephanie Chasteen
  42. 42. t h e l e a r n i n g c y c l e Peer instruction helps students learn... Thinking like experts42 BEFORE DURING AFTER setting up instruction developing knowledge assessing learning Adapted from Rosie Piller, Ian Beatty, Stephanie Chasteen
  43. 43. Peer Instruction Thinking like experts43
  44. 44. Peer Instruction - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu44 1. identifying key concepts, misconceptions 2. creating multiple-choice questions that require deeper thinking and learning 3. facilitating episodes of peer instruction that spark and support expert-like discussion 4. leading a class-wide discussion to clarify the concept, resolve the misconception 5. reflecting on the question: note curious things you overheard, how they voted, etc. so next year’s peer instruction will be better before class during class after class Effective peer instruction requires
  45. 45. reduce course content by 25% Effective peer instruction requires How (you can help) People Learn (using peer instruction)45 students come to class prepared to engage in conceptually-challenging discussions TIME! 5 minutes of student-centered activity every 10 – 15 minutes means 25% of class time is not lecturing. Where does that time come from? But I’ve got material to fill (more than) 100% of my lecture!
  46. 46. Traditional classroom Thinking like experts46 first exposure to material is in class, content is transmitted from instructor to student learning occurs later when student struggles alone to complete homework, essay, project learn easy stuff together learn hard stuff alone transfer assimilate
  47. 47. Flipped classroom Thinking like experts47 student learns easy content at home: definitions, basic skills, simple examples. Frees up class time for... students are prepared to tackle challenging concepts in class, with immediate feedback from peers, instructor learn hard stuff together learn easy stuff alone transfer assimilate
  48. 48. Thinking like experts48      
  49. 49. References Peer Instruction - collegeclassroom.ucsd.edu49 1. National Research Council (2000). How People Learn:Brain,Mind,Experience,and School: Expanded Edition. J.D. Bransford,A.L Brown & R.R. Cocking (Eds.),Washington, DC: The NationalAcademies Press. 2. Flavell, J. H. (1976). Metacognitive aspects of problem solving. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp.231-236). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 3. Brame, C. (2013).Thinking about metacognition. [blog] January, 2013,Available at: http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/2013/01/thinking-about-metacognition/ [Accessed: 14 Jan 2013]. 4. Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  50. 50. How to Teach Your Students to Think Like Experts Peter Newbury Center forTeaching Development, UC San Diego Unless otherwise noted, content is licensed under a Creative CommonsAttribution-Non Commercial 3.0 License. pnewbury@ucsd.edu peternewbury.org @polarisdotca #CSUgrit March 13, 2015 effective #peerinstruction gives students opps to try, fail, receive feedback, try again, says @polarisdotca. Develops expertise. #CSUgrit

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