active learning

Applying James Lang’s Small Teaching in STEM Classrooms

By Andrew Miller Think back to your college mathematics courses. What is one word to describe how students in that class were learning? Does the word “passive” come to mind? Having taken countless math courses throughout my undergraduate and graduate career, I can confidently say that the structure of most courses is the same. Instructors […]

The Writing Classroom as Studio

“While the fields of writing and science might strike many as completely different if not diametrically opposed, once I began to look more closely at their histories, I realized how much was shared. Notions of learning by doing—as opposed to learning by listening to lectures and regurgitating that content on multiple-choice exams, whether that doing […]

A Short Pause Goes a Long Way: Using the Pause Procedure in Teaching

By Anna Marie LaChance Picture yourself as an undergraduate student, sitting in a standard lecture hall, staring at a whiteboard as a professor makes their way through a long lecture. Maybe it’s a detailed mathematical derivation or a careful dissection of a literary work. You and the nearly one hundred other students sit in silence […]

2017 Teaching Highlights 🎉

While it’s easy to be cynical about the sentimentality and goal-setting that accompanies the end of a year, we believe reflection and self-improvement are always laudable goals and ones that are at the heart of good pedagogy. Before we turn to thinking about ways can improve our teaching practice in 2018, let’s take a moment […]

Building Classroom Dialogue Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge

By Andrew Miller Classroom discourse can often be difficult to achieve. Whether you are a teaching assistant, new faculty member, or tenured faculty, getting students to answer and ask questions is a challenge all instructors face. This is especially true in the sciences where students often have anxiety about the subject, little interest, and the […]

Alternatives and Tweaks to PowerPoints in Large Classes

By Fahd Rafiq As a PhD student in Political Science, I have spent most of my life in educational settings. From the time I graduated high school in 1998 until now, I’ve witnessed a transition from traditional chalk board teaching to PowerPoint slideshows. Although I believe PowerPoint slideshows can be useful, I argue that they […]

Eliciting the Unheard Voices in Class with Alternative Forms of Participation

This is our second post in a five-part series on harnessing technology to engage students and advance their learning. Upcoming posts will focus on using video recordings to provide feedback and increase student metacognition, enhanced use of PowerPoints to drive student learning, and practical information on flipping the classroom and recording lectures. By Emma Bjorngard-Basayne […]

15 Minutes with a UConn Prof: Andy Ballantine

This is the second interview in our series, 15 minutes with a UConn Prof (see our first with Dr. John Redden), that captures the accumulated wisdom of our instructors. In this interview, Dr. Andy Ballantine discusses the importance of instructor enthusiasm, relevant material, and the still-pertinent but increasingly-passé lecture. What are some ways that you’ve […]