[10th UTokyo FFP] DAY 2 Class Design

DAY 2 sessions for the 10th UTokyo FFP were held on October 19th and 20th. The main topics were as follows:

  • ・Instructional design and the ADDIE model
  • ・Class design (How to design a class of 90 or 105 minutes)
  • ・Active learning strategies (Asking questions, Think-Pair-Share, and Peer Instruction)
  • ・Effects and limits of active learning
  • ・Motivation (Expectancy-value theory and environment)
  • ・Exercise in class design
We had a lot of topics to cover in a single session.
Essentially, each of them needs plenty of time to learn.
I showed the participants the following paper when explaining the effects of active learning:

Deslauriers, L., Schelew, E., & Wieman, C. (2011). Improved learning in a large-enrollment physics class. science, 332(6031), 862-864.

According to the paper, the scores of the examination after the class were overwhelmingly higher for the students who took an interactive class conducted by an inexperienced postdoc than for those who took a one-way lecture conducted by an expert instructor with high ratings on his/her classes. The “interactive” here means that the Peer Instruction method was used.

Peer Instruction is a method developed by Dr. Eric Mazur at Harvard University. The instructor prepares a multiple-choice question that requires reflection, and prepared students tackle the question and have a debate with neighboring students on the choices they made. The debate is for sharing the reasons why they chose a certain answer and convincing others. Please refer to the following link for more details.

The advantage of Peer Instruction is that students can remember what they learned regardless of whether they chose the right or wrong answer by getting involved in a discussion on the question. Even if they realized that they were wrong, they would never forget the concept they are supposed to learn with that question. Therefore, the important thing is to provide the students with an environment in which they can reveal their thoughts without hesitation even if they may be wrong. Otherwise, saying something wrong may equal being embarrassed, which makes them refrain from speaking.

Making the environment secure enough to let the participants “listen to others, give an opinion, and have a discussion” is important not only for Peer Instruction but also for group activities.

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