Jigsaw

The Blank Syllabus

In "The Blank Syllabus" activity, the instructor leaves assigned readings blank for some of the class sessions. The second writing assignment requires students to choose a reading from the course anthology--a reading that is then assigned to the class, thus filling in the blanks on the syllabus. The students get practice in writing about a reading of their choosing in the first assignment.… Read more about The Blank Syllabus

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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East Asian Text Diagrams

Overview: This activity helps students read texts, analyze them, and present the information into a diagram.

Goals:  Enable students to closely and quickly analyze texts.

Introduction/Background: Students were given texts to read in class. Each of the texts was of a kind that can be represented straightforwardly as a diagram: geography (map), a series of events (cyclical calendar), or a description of the body in relation to the cosmos (a star map or zodiac). However, where the geographical text described the land, for… Read more about East Asian Text Diagrams

Cells vs. Buildings

Created by Kostia Bergman, Erin Cram, Wendy Smith, Scott Dobrin, Presque Isle, and Judith Roe, this lesson for an intermediate Cell Biology course encourages students to take a big-picture view of the cell by comparing cells to buildings in order to think about the dynamic processes within cells. The lesson utilizes a jigsaw and quick write.… Read more about Cells vs. Buildings

The Problem of Scale in Evolution

Created by Jillian Banks, Jeremy Brown, Cindy Gordon, Chris Gregg, Travis Marsico, Chris Osovitz, and Rebecca Symula, this activity focuses on the importance of temporal scale and specifically seeks to resolve the common student misconception that evolutionary change is only observable on a single timescale.  It utilizes index cards in an interactive jigsaw.… Read more about The Problem of Scale in Evolution

Protein Function Follows Form: Two-Lesson Activity

Created by Moriah Beck, Masih Shokrani, Karen Koster, William Soto, David McDonald, and David Swanson for the National Academies Northstar Institute for Undergraduate Teaching in Biology, this activity spans 2-3 classes and uses lecture, clicker questions, jigsaws, and group discussions to teach the relationship between protein structure and function.… Read more about Protein Function Follows Form: Two-Lesson Activity

Mapping the Holy

In CB51: Making the Middle Ages, the teaching staff, consisting of Professor Dan Smail and TFs Rowan Dorin, Zoe Silverman, Joey McMullen, and Rena Lauer, had students read a common text on a medieval saint, extract all the place names mentioned, and map them in order to learn about the nature of communication in the Middle Ages, geographic analysis, and how to use WorldMap, a way to create and publish maps of geospatial information.… Read more about Mapping the Holy