Change One Thing Challenge - 2014 Recipients

Bryan Crawford, Biology

Screencasting My Classes Using Doceri

I have begun using Doceri to ScreenCast my lectures in Cell Biology.  This allows me to use my iPad to wirelessly run a Keynote presentation from my laptop and move freely around the room, while the audio and projected image data is recorded.  Furthermore, this allows me to write/draw on top of whatever is being projected on the screen, or drop down a whiteboard for "chalktalk' style elaborations on specific topics.  Finally, I can pass the iPad to students and ask them to draw/graph/illustrate some specific idea, allowing me a new form of student interaction.

Fam Loutfi, French

Using Exam Wrappers in Introductory French

I introduced the exam wrapper in my French Introductory courses this term.  This was one of my approaches to make students think not just about their grades, but to also monitor and self-assess their own learning processes.  As an educator, I help students improve their learning strategies, by directly recommending and describing certain approaches, and explain why they work so well.  I also let them, indirectly, discover their personal learning strategies, by producing their own evaluative feeback.  The exam wrapper provides an opportunity for me to listen to students concerns and to refocus if necessary.

Jamie Miles, Chemical Engineering

Cooking Spaghetti, A Just-in-Time Approach for Teaching Heat Transfer

This semester, I am teaching a third year Chemical Engineering core course in Heat Transfer.  When I was developing the course, I decided to implement a "just-in-time teaching" approach, which I was introduced to at a conference last spring.  At the start of each class, I presented a practical problem that the students didn't know how to solve.  Implementing this change allowed me to connect course content with real-world problem solving in a more direct way.  The students I have spoken to are pleased with this approach.  They find it intriguing that at the beginning of each lecture, they don't know how to solve the given problem, but by lecture's end, they have the tools and theory required.

Li-Hong Xu, Physics

Party Physics

The majority of the students in introductory physics are in the course because of their program requirements, and this is likely to be their only time taking physics at university.  How do we ensure that they learn the required material for their future professional programs even though their interest in Physics may be minimal and how do we maximize their physics time to make a lifelong learning impression about physics?  One change I have made this year is to inrtoduce "Party Physics": at the start of every lecture, we spend 5 minutes demonstrating or showing a game, a magic trick, a song, a reading, a YouTube clip, anything physics-related that students can use to entertain their friends at a party but also explain to their friends the physics behind it.