This in-class activity is part of a public health course that incorporates assessment questions throughout the lecture as an activity-based learning technique.
Activity: Intro to Data Science Lecture
- To allow both the student and the teaching staff to gauge if the lecture material is being understood.
Class: BIO 260 –Introduction to Data Science
Introduction/Background: This in-class activity is part of a public health course that incorporates assessment questions throughout the lecture as an activity-based learning technique.
Before Class Preparation:
- Provide a document on GitHub that can be downloaded before class. These documents should include both the class lecture notes and the assessment questions.
- All class notes should be kept as R markdown files (containing both code and prose) on Git Hub. Here is an example (which includes answers to questions): https://github.com/datasciencelabs/2016/blob/master/lectures/inference/inference.Rmd
- See example of class notes here: https://github.com/datasciencelabs/2016/tree/master/lectures
In Class Activity:
- In the first part, students follow the lecture. The instructor should have prepared assessments that are placed intermittently throughout the lecture.
- Once it is time for the assessment, the instructor must stop the lecture and provide 2-10 minutes for students to complete the assessment, depending on how challenging the assessment is.
- Next, the instructor asks students to turn and talk to their neighbor
- The students then submit their answers using a google poll
- At this point, the instructor must take a moment to find out what percentage of the class understands or does not understand the assessment
- Then, the instructor goes over the assessment step-by-step, followed by opening up the class for questions related to the assessment
- For some assignments, the teaching fellows can walk around the room offering help to students
- Once the class is done with the assessment, a teaching fellow posts the solution in a public Google doc for all to see and ask further questions.
Materials: A laptop computer to perform data analysis. Students also should have access to internet and all class materials.
Comments: The instructor reports that the activity completely changed how he conducts his lectures. In the past, he would ask "Any questions?" after his lectures, and mostly drew blank stares. Now, he has a much better sense for what specific questions students have. The instructor also advises to include many assessments throughout the lecture, and adapt the lectures to them.
Submitted by Rafael A. Irizarry, Biostatistics