Compare the Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Methods

Being in the White House Situation Room: Developing Strategic Options

Faculty develop a national security crisis and simulate placing the students on the National Security Council Staff to develop strategic options to drive U.S. foreign policy. By thrusting students into positions of responsibility for solutions to real-world issues, this activity requires students to draw on what they have learned and to think on their feet, and it fosters a deeper appreciation for the challenges associated with working on foreign policy.

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Clinical Trials Smackdown

This activity teaches skills in critical assessment of the peer-reviewed published literature.  It focuses on analysis of clinical trials in mental health, but the principles and methods are readily generalizable to other scientific literature.  The “Smackdown” approach represents an augmentation of the traditional “journal club” mode of teaching critical scientific reading skills.

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Equitable Academic Discussion Routines

This activity follows an adjustable sequence of steps and rules for engagement to ensure that all students, even in large classes, are able to find each session clear, accessible, rigorous, and relevant and to feel that the classroom culture offers them an equal opportunity to speak. As part of these routines, hands are never immediately called on when the instructor asks a question. Instead, all students are expected to develop an answer and then collaborate with their peers to develop a group answer, and a representative from each group shares the group’s response. Rules for engagement, explicit criteria for meeting and exceeding expectations, and transparent discussion routines ensure that all students can access the discussion and be optimally challenged during class.

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Globe Toss Icebreaker

For the STAT104 first class of the semester, Lecturer Michael Parzen throws an inflatable globe of the world into the class audience to get the class excited about learning future topics of experimentation, randomness, and estimation.

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