Proposal Title

Threshold Concepts: How Student Learning Should Inform Disciplinary Teaching

Proposal Abstract

Students often focus on required course products or solutions to assignments rather than taking time to consciously examine their learning and how they might learn better. By becoming conscious of practices that positively impact their learning, we believe that students will come to more strongly value those practices, be more likely to engage in them and, ultimately, improve the quality of their work. A common approach to enhancing student awareness of their learning is to incorporate multiple written and discussion reflection activities. This type of approach is not feasible in all classes, and if used in too many classes might result in student resentment. Thus, this panel shares three alternate approaches from courses in math, physics, and geosciences, involving use of concept maps, increased opportunities for quick reflection, and redesign of lab assignments paired with opportunities for quick reflection. These examples represent low-cost, course-goal-specific ways to make students aware of aspects of the learning process that they otherwise may have overlooked. In all three classes, we observed positive impact on student learning behaviors and/or performance.

Location

Room 1909

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 7th, 4:00 PM Mar 7th, 4:45 PM

Threshold Concepts: How Student Learning Should Inform Disciplinary Teaching

Room 1909

Students often focus on required course products or solutions to assignments rather than taking time to consciously examine their learning and how they might learn better. By becoming conscious of practices that positively impact their learning, we believe that students will come to more strongly value those practices, be more likely to engage in them and, ultimately, improve the quality of their work. A common approach to enhancing student awareness of their learning is to incorporate multiple written and discussion reflection activities. This type of approach is not feasible in all classes, and if used in too many classes might result in student resentment. Thus, this panel shares three alternate approaches from courses in math, physics, and geosciences, involving use of concept maps, increased opportunities for quick reflection, and redesign of lab assignments paired with opportunities for quick reflection. These examples represent low-cost, course-goal-specific ways to make students aware of aspects of the learning process that they otherwise may have overlooked. In all three classes, we observed positive impact on student learning behaviors and/or performance.