Compare the Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Methods

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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Reasoning to the Best Conclusion

Students are asked to write down a weird or random fact about themselves on a sticky note and to pass it to the person to their left. Each student is then asked to brainstorm logically possible explanations of the fact he or she has received. Through this activity, students learn to distinguish the best or most likely explanations from all the logically possible ones.

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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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Paper Figure Jigsaw

Students develop skills in critical paper reading by working through a series of active learning exercises. At different stages of the jigsaw activity, students work together to develop an understanding of one piece of the figure, and then teach and learn from each other in a dynamic classroom.... Read more about Paper Figure Jigsaw

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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Religion & Climate Simulation

 

A three day simulation of the Parliament of World Religions teaches students about the role of faith groups in addressing climate change.

Goals:

  • to provide an opportunity to study religious teachings related to nature and the environment
  • to investigate ways these teachings might contribute to practical policies and actions by persons and communities of faith in the face of destructive climate change
  • to intensify the learning experience by simulating the work of delegates to a real world...
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Action Learning in Strategies for Sustainability Management

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