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‘Active Learning’

Active Learning Online: Five Key Principles with Stephen M. Kosslyn

Mar. 22, 2021—Active learning leads to substantially better learning than occurs with traditional lecturing. This workshop will review the nature of active learning and explain why it is so effective. The workshop will focus on five fundamental principles drawn from the science of learning; these principles range from Deep Processing (the more mental effort one expends when...

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Overcoming the “busywork” dilemma

Jan. 11, 2021—by Julaine Fowlin, CFT assistant director What is the busywork dilemma? The busywork dilemma is where students perceive that assigned learning activities or assessments are not meaningfully contributing to their learning. Instructors put a lot of effort and time into the design and implementation of these activities, which can be very frustrating. Sometimes activities are...

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Adaptive Teaching at Vanderbilt

Jul. 9, 2020—During the university’s June 24th faculty town hall, CFT director Derek Bruff presented several strategies for adaptive teaching and active learning that faculty and other instructors might find useful as they plan their fall courses. While some instructors will be teaching fully online this fall, others may find themselves teaching in classrooms where some students are...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Derek Bruff and Cryptography Escape Rooms

Mar. 9, 2020—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern During Spring 2020, the Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt blog series will highlight teaching innovations that CFT staff have implemented and evaluated in their own courses. I heard about Dr. Derek Bruff’s teaching innovation before I started working at the CFT from my freshman RA. She had been in Bruff’s...

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Incorporating Games into TA Orientation

Jan. 8, 2020—By Cait Kirby, CFT Teaching Affiliate and Biological Sciences PhD student In my role as a Teaching Affiliate at Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching, I lead an orientation event for a group of Biological Sciences Teaching Assistants (TAs). This orientation serves to educate new TAs about their roles, Vanderbilt policies, pedagogical techniques, and the types of...

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Science Teaching Lunch on more inclusive active learning classrooms: How groups of students are differentially impacted by active learning

Nov. 18, 2019—Join Professor Sara Brownell at a Science Teaching Lunch as she discusses her lab’s work investigating some “off-target” effects of active learning. Professor Brownell writes, “To what extent do students experience college science classrooms differently because of their social identities? How has transitioning traditional lecture courses to active learning spaces impacted students? What can instructors...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Chris Candelaria and Poster Sessions

Aug. 19, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern For the first time in this blog series, I was able to go and see the teaching innovation I would write about. During 2019 Spring semester, I visited the end-of-semester poster sessions held for HODE 3225: Introduction to Public Finance of Education, which is taught by Chris Candelaria. Candelaria...

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Signal-to-noise in the classroom

Aug. 5, 2019—by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director I’ve been thinking a lot about signal-to-noise ratio this summer. My post-doctoral research relied heavily on mass spectrometry of complex mixtures, and we thought a lot about signal-to-noise and whether we were missing the thing we were after in a sea of other things our instrument could detect....

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Getting Started with Active Learning: Behind-the-scenes Development of a Cheat Sheet

May. 28, 2019—by Greg Smith, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow This year, I helped lead a learning community focused on active learning. Together, Cynthia Brame and I guided a group of about 25 faculty and graduate students through seven sessions to investigate the “why” and “how” of active learning. As our meetings progressed, we started thinking about how...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Daniela D’Eugenio and Selective Technology Use

Apr. 29, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern Personal technological devices, such as phones and laptops, are ubiquitous in society as well as the classroom. Their use is banned outright by some professors and encouraged by others, but just as outside of the classroom, the exact role and extent they should be used is still being explored....

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