V03: Context for this video

The class we see in this video is part of a science course about Natural Disasters taught face to face in large lecture settings as well as online as a Distance Education course. This group of 98 students was taking the course as an accelerated summer course, meeting for 2.5 hours each day for three weeks.

The target audience is any student at UBC from first through fourth year and active learning has been part of the class since 2006. Clickers are used regularly and worksheet based group activities are becoming more commonly used in all parts of the course. The Fall and Spring term versions of the course are taught by a team of up to six experts in fields such as earthquakes, volcanoes, storms, impacts and mass extinctions, and landslides. The summer version is taught by one instructor.

Because of the large numbers, this course has been a great place to develop and refine teaching practices that support learning of large numbers in a traditional lecture theater setting. We have developed skills of instructors at using in class clicker questions, introduced two stage exams, and incorporated worksheets in to many of the lessons. The example shown here was developed to explore the benefits and best practices associated with use and reuse of active strategies.

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