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“Muddy point” one-minute papers

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Presentation on theme: "“Muddy point” one-minute papers"— Presentation transcript:

1 “Muddy point” one-minute papers
Ask students to identify a “muddy point” about that day’s topic – something they find difficult to understand. Why a “one-minute paper”? Short, informal – literally give students one minute to complete.

2 Timing of one-minute papers
Before class: ask students to bring in their muddy points or them to you before class. Select a number to discuss; respond to the rest by . (You can organize whole tutorial sessions around this activity). During class: trade their papers with peers and have them try to find or determine the answer together. At the end of class: collect and respond by or at the beginning of the next class. These all give you more control about which questions you address while still making sure that all questions are answered.

3 Incorporate active learning
What is active learning? When students must evaluate, test, and synthesize knowledge for themselves. Your second option is…

4 Teaching vs. learning Research on teaching and learning by Carl Wieman: Physics professor at UBC and winner of the Nobel Prize. Students only retain about 10% of information from a traditional lecture. Implication – 90% of the information you provide won’t stick! Wieman was the expert of experts – a Nobel prize winner in his subject area and a prof for 30 years – then he started researching teaching because his students were not learning.

5 But with active learning…
But if you ask students to reflect on information, solve problems, etc.: up to 90% of information is retained. So: Active learning might mean teaching less - putting less emphasis on the transmission of facts and information – so that students learn more.

6 What does this mean for you?
Less important to be an expert Big ideas are more important than small facts – students won’t remember these anyway. It’s ok – good, actually! – to make students find the answers themselves But – this approach takes work too – it requires modelling this approach on your part and structuring the class so that you can train students to identify and answer their own questions.

7 Your advantages as a TA So – not knowing the answer to a question can actually be a positive teaching and learning experience because it forces you to become a facilitator instead of an expert. What you do know parallels what students most need to know: what is important/essential to know about the topic where to find resources and additional information how to ask or answer questions in ways appropriate to the discipline

8 Active learning activities
Many active learning activities ask students to teach themselves or each other Handout: Short activities (5-10) Great for getting students to: brainstorm about a difficult question check and compare their understanding of a topic Longer activities (30 minutes+) understand a range of ways of approaching the topic evaluate and defend their interpretation/opinion apply their knowledge Handout with activities & description

9 Deflection strategies

10 If all else fails… So, you have done your best to prepare for your lab or tutorial, provided students with other opportunities to ask questions, and given students an opportunity to work out questions for themselves – and you still get a question that stumps you.

11 If all else fails… Turn into a “learning moment”
Set aside questions to answer after class (by you or by other students) 3. Say you don’t know without saying you don’t know One of these or in combination.

12 Learning moment Use the question to spur a discussion or an active learning activity.

13 Learning moment Use question to spur a discussion.
Turn the question back to students. Does anyone know the answer? If not, how could they find out? Where should they look? What other questions first need to be answered? Then…

14 Learning moment Use question to spur an active learning activity.
Ask students to complete a one-minute paper or break into pairs to come up with an answer or compare the reading or their notes. As a large group, discuss the results. Was the problem solved? If not… For participation marks or extra credit, ask students to find the answer and bring it to the next class or you Participation marks – everyone can get a point or turn it into a game/competition (better if you do this more frequently)

15 Set questions aside to answer later
Use a question “parking lot” - write questions on the board that will be followed up on later. Establish this practice early in the semester for questions that are somewhat off topic or would take too much time to answer immediately. Either… Ask for volunteers (or assign systematically) for participation points to find answers. Answer in an or at the beginning of the next class. Students can supply answer in class or on discussion board When questions are tabled for later, they are often answered in the course of the class session by you or by other students as you work through the material together.

16 Say you don’t know without saying “I don’t know”
That’s a great question… But I’d like to think about the best way to answer it. But I’d like to double check something to make sure I give you the correct answer. And I never would have thought about the issue that way. And I never would have thought to connect those two issues. …I’ll get back to you next class. …I’ll send out an after class. …Can anyone think of what might be the best way to approach that? …Why don’t you post it on Blackboard, and we’ll see if anyone can find a good answer? Not that there’s anything wrong with saying “I don’t know”, but some students and some TAs would like to avoid this if possible – other options that are still honest but avoid that particular phrase. What these all have in common: Respect and validate the student’s question give a quick reason for not knowing the answer that is more about the student (in a positive way) than about you Identifies a plan and a commitment to find the answer

17 In your own context… CLOSING ACTIVITY: Note a concern about responding to student questions that you still have. What techniques that we’ve discussed today – preparation, using active learning activities, using questions to spur a discussion – might help in that situation?

18 Thank you! Please make sure that you have the handouts.
Please complete the evaluation. Any questions or need additional resources? me or the TATP.

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