In Physics 11b, students engage in peer instruction by discussing the answers to questions posed in class. Before the activity, students need to have completed the reading and reviewed the concept questions. In class, students are given questions that they answer using an online system similar to clickers. Afterwards, students discuss the question with their neighbors and then enter their responses again. The answer to the question is given and discussed if a large portion of the class still has trouble with the question. This teaching style is used throughout the semester.
Professor Güven Güzeldere uses debates extensively in several of his courses, including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, and Philosophy of Religion. The debates consist of two teams of two or three students each, presenting and defending two opposing positions on a particular philosophical question (e.g., Can we attribute genuine emotions to robots or computational systems on the basis of affect-appropriate behaviors?). Each team gets a first period for presenting, and then a second period for a rejoinder to the opposing team and their own response. The debate concludes with an open question-answer period that involves the whole class.
In gen ed course, Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 31: American Musicals and Culture, students in Luci Mok's section present one-minute summaries of musicals to engage with the main plot and show that they have seen it.
In Megan Kate Nelson's course on the American Civil War, students complete a final class project and paper that involves primary document research and public history activities to present history through objects and documents.
The purpose of this activity is for students to present a complicated academic debate within their own debate. Asher Orkaby assigned students to a position in the debate and had them prepare their arguments before class. The students were paired together and asked to debate JFK's performance during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They based their arguments on readings assigned for the week. After presenting their arguments, the students fielded questions from their classmates.
How did race, gender, employment, and other characteristics condition people's responses to revolutionary activities during the American Revolution? In this activity, students take on different personas and consider whether they would support a boycott of British goods.
Students suggest possible structures for a molecule and the vote on which ones are correct. Then, two or three students can be selected to calculate the structure on the chalkboard, while the rest of the students do so with paper and pencil. They walk through the formal calculations and compare their answers to the results of the voting at the beginning of the class.