WHEN WATCHING THIS 06:10 min. VIDEO, look for…
What are students doing indicating engagement & learning:
- Expressions: interest, curiosity, focus, discussion; these are very “engaged” students. They are all busy, the lab space seems a little chaotic, and nobody is off-task.
- Experiences: students handle / measure / sketch real rock and fossil samples, look for features and clues, explain to each other, and interact with experts.
- Learning: groups or peers are discussing / arguing about concepts. Experts and novices are interacting. Engagement styles range from solo through large groups of 6-7 students.
- Novices-expert interactions: the instructor and TAs ask about the thinking, respond to questions, discuss in a Socratic manner, and guide thinking without simply telling answers.
- Students recognize benefits of hands on work: hear student feedback in the video’s last couple of minutes.
Aspects of logistics to notice:
- Setting up the exercise. Worksheets delivered online ensure consistency so all students do the work and collect necessary results. Then, only 2-3 minutes of introduction time is needed.
- Referencing pre-lab homework; current tasks and resources (handouts, samples, work expectations); follow up homework.
- How space and resources are used. Sufficient space to allow a range of engagement options. No further direction is needed, except warnings when time is running out. Only 50 students at a time are scheduled into each lab session – hence 3 identical sessions for 150 students.
- Why no wrap-up or closure within this 50 minute time slot?
Instead, follow up homework is assigned, and a subsequent 50 minute lesson synthesizes and uses data gathered in this lab.
- How many “experts” are working with students? What are they doing? How do they interact with students?
Instructor & TAs respond to these questions (middle of clip):
- How do these labs compare in terms of work load to build and run them?
- Why do you think this interactive approach is effective?
- What to you personally like about these sessions? What is satisfying to you as a teacher?
- What do you like about being a TA in this kind of course?
- Why are these labs particularly useful for students, instead of more lectures?
Students answer these questions (end of clip):
- How do these activities help you learn what is needed for doing well in this course?
- What do you like about these lab activities or exercises?