Presentation on theme: "Helping Our Students "Break the Code" Linda Alexander Communication Studies."— Presentation transcript:
Helping Our Students "Break the Code" Linda Alexander Communication Studies
OVERVIEW What does it mean to think like an anthropologist, a physicist, a computer technician, a counselor? Faculty and staff make sense of profession- or discipline-specific concepts and/or processes in ways that are not always apparent to students.
Overview (cont) When we "dissect"(decode) our own way of thinking, we can help students move past "bottlenecks" (points where student understanding seems to hit a wall). Specific strategies to unclog bottlenecks will be discussed.
Decoding and Bottlenecks "Experts in a discipline (faculty) make sense of discipline-specific concepts and/or processes in ways that are not always apparent to novices (students). When faculty ‘dissect their own innate thinking,’ they are more able to help students move past bottlenecks.”
“Bottleneck” Where student learning seems to hit a wall. In other words: it's where a significant number of students don't get what you're saying, or don't understand how they're supposed to think about a concept or process.
What We Can Do 1. Identify bottlenecks in students' learning process. 2. Define the processes that students need to master to get past the bottlenecks. 3. Model these processes for students.
4. Create opportunities to practice these processes and to get feedback on them. 5. Motivate students to move through these processes 6. Assess student mastery of these processes. 7. Share what has been learned..
The Process: An Example Step 1. Identify a bottleneck: Preparing speech content based on library sources. Step 2. Define the processes that students need to master. How might an “expert” do this?
(Continued) Step 2: How might an “expert” prepare speech content? Identify a topic Develop a thesis and main points Find library sources Determine how many sources are needed (quantity) Select the best sources (quality) Incorporate the sources effectively
Step 3: Model This Process for Students. Analogy: What’s Cooking? What questions should the "chef" address? What dish do I want to make? What does the recipe say that I need to do? Where can I get ingredients for my dish? Do I have the necessary ingredients or do I need to keep looking? Which ingredients are the best ones for this dish? How do I put everything together for the best dish ever?
Let’s Cook! 1. Identify a topic=> What dish do I want to make? 2. Develop a thesis and main points => What does the recipe say I need to do? Basic strategy: decide on thesis and MPs. 3. Finding library sources => Where can I get ingredients for my dish? Need to find the sources, or ingredients, in the appropriate places.
Still Cooking! 4. Determine how many sources are needed => Do I have the necessary ingredients or do I need to keep looking? 5. Select the best sources => Which ingredients are the best ones for this dish? 6. Incorporate the sources effectively to develop a great speech => How do I put everything together for the best dish ever?
The Analogy Revisited Writing a speech and cooking a dish both involve making a number of strategic decisions throughout the preparation process. Making good decisions is important for the final result whether the result is a speech or a dinner entree.
Unclogging a Bottleneck. Using an Analogy: Makes the process of developing and writing a research paper more explicit to students… In a way that promotes engagement.
Exercise: Find a partner who is in a different discipline. Step 1: Identify ONE bottleneck. Step 2: Discuss with your partner how you (as an expert in your discipline) might tackle this bottleneck/problem. Step 3: Discuss with your partner how this thinking can be modeled step by step. Both of you should collaborate on exactly how to do this. Think outside the box!
Helping Our Students "Break the Code" What does it mean to think like an anthropologist, a physicist, a computer technician, a counselor?