...science curricula were revamped to get them to jibe with the latest cognitive science research on effective learning, which points to more interactive approaches that include immediately and repeatedly putting new information to use. Students in science courses were continually peppered with questions that they all had to answer via wireless handheld clickers. The students were frequently broken into small work groups to try their hands at solving problems using the material they had just learned, and they took at least two midterms each class. [emphasis mine]
Excellent article and the evidence is clear: "one section of a University of British Columbia physics course about electromagnetic waves was taught by the cognitive approach, while another section was taught by the standard course lecture. The first group scored an average of 74 percent when tested on the material, while the second group scored only 41 percent. “We’ve been able to clearly demonstrate how much better we can do in teaching students,” Gilbert says."
I teach biology labs so first I give the students the notes and an overview of the class for the day and then the students get to immediately put to use the information I just gave them. I think this is why lab learning is so important - it is very hands-on.
Good job, Steph, and one that will bring you great satisfaction, I am sure. Hands on learning opens up an entirely different way of being in class ... and then in the world. "Let's see how this works" is a common phrase. Wish I could take one of your classes; your birding information is fantastic.
Oh thanks! Yes, I just love teaching -- It's very rewarding. I have some very good students. I'm glad you liked the birding information. I love it too!