Hello world!

Have you tried these chemistry simulations from PhET and Tom Greenbowe?

Have you browsed any of these resources for improving your teaching, managing the first day of class, designing better exams, using clickers to understand concepts (a short video), assessing student learning, or keeping students engaged?

Have you read any of these articles describing research based instruction?  The May 2011 article from Science (volume 332, pages 862-864) is extremely provocative.

Must universities change?  The author thinks that “a substantial body of research demonstrates conclusively that the problem (shortcomings at the university-level) is frequently caused by poor undergraduate teaching in physics, chemistry, biology, math, and engineering, particularly in the freshman and sophomore years. Students are consigned to large lecture courses that offer almost no engagement, no monitoring, and little support and personal attention.  The combination of poor high school preparation and uninspiring freshman and sophomore pedagogy has produced a stunning dearth of science and engineering majors in the U.S.”.  Needed changes include…“to alter faculty incentives by making undergraduate teaching at least equal to research and graduate teaching in prestige, evaluation, and reward. And we need to do research-based teaching that takes account and advantage of the latest findings of cognitive science, which are extensive, on how students learn. In brief, they learn by doing, not by just listening to someone else; they learn by solving problems, not by passively absorbing concepts; they learn best in groups of peers working things out together.