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3. Blogging

Perhaps a group blog might be a good idea. I'll give 10 minutes at the end of each period (ouch, that leaves just 30 minutes for whatever discussion I might want to have, but I think it'll be worth it). Each day, a particular person is assigned to blog, and all typing must be done by that person. They can contribute their input. It becomes a group notebook.

2. Learning-centered syllabus

(Nice page!)

I should expose my students to these questions. We've missed out on them so far.

  • How do we think in this discipline?
  • How do we organize knowledge, add to the knowledge base, recognize and test new knowledge?
  • What is our philosophical base?
  • How do we approach questions of ethics?
  • With what theoretical questions are we most concerned?
  • How do we use knowledge in the discipline?
  • How do we apply what we know?
  • How do we recognize unmet needs?
  • How does this discipline make the world a better place?
  • With what other disciplines do we interact?
  • What stimulates our enthusiasm?
  • How do people in our discipline rejuvenate our interest or intellectual involvement?
  • What are our greatest accomplishments and loftiest goals?
  • What makes the discipline a worthwhile field of study?

1. Interesting notes from the best practices

Guided Lecture: Students listen to 15-20 minutes of lecture without taking notes. At the end, they spend five minutes recording all they can recall. The next step involves learners in small discussion groups reconstructing the lecture conceptually with supporting data, preparing complete lecture notes, using the instructor to resolve questions that arise.

Immediate Mastery Quiz: When a regular immediate mastery test is included in the last few minutes of the period, learners retain almost twice as much material, both factual and conceptual.

Individual Task With Review: Problems to solve that apply the concepts presented. Students complete a worksheet or other task and compare the results with their neighbors before the whole class discusses the answers.

Intrinsically-Phrased Reward Statements: Positive expressions about emerging learner performance and achievement highlight internal feelings of self-worth and self-satisfaction (without praise, which is an extrinsic judgment). Enjoyment "That was fun!" "I get pleasure from that, too." Competence "You did it!" "That is mastered!" Cleverness "That was tricky." "Creative." Growth "You've taken a step forward." "Change has occurred!"

Construction Spiral: Ask a sequence of questions, beginning at a reflex level, in a three-step learning cycle--(1) individual writing for 3-5 minutes, (2) small group sharing in trios or pairs, and (3) whole class, non-evaluative compilation. Used to construct understandings and concepts.

Peer Teaching: By explaining conceptual relationships to others, tutors define their own understanding.

  • Question Pairs--learners prepare for class by reading an assignment and generating questions focused on the major points or issues raised. At the next class meeting pairs are randomly assigned. Partners alternately ask questions of each other and provide corrective feedback as necessary.
  • Learning Cells--Each learner reads different selections and then teaches the essence of the material to his or her randomly assigned partner.


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Page: Computer Science Education
Updated: 2004-11-21
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