Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Barak Obama’s Advisor Indirectly Helping UC Students Enjoy L

Barak Obama’s Advisor Indirectly Helping UC Students Enjoy Lectures More

March 5, 2013

Barak Obama’s science advisor, Dr Carl Wieman, is indirectly helping University of Canterbury (UC) students enjoy their lectures more.

Dr Wieman, a Nobel Prize winner, previously worked with UC geology lecturer Dr Ben Kennedy at the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Dr Kennedy has, for the first time, brought some of Dr Wieman’s solutions to the traditional lecture format. Dr Kennedy said science education research showed that a traditional, stand-and-deliver lecture format is less effective for students than teaching strategies that are learner-centred and promote active engagement.

``Dr Wieman and I came up with the idea for the New Zealand-based project following his trip to the Beehive in 2009. He suggested to me that New Zealand universities would really benefit from my continuing similar education research and the funding agency Ako Aotearoa agreed,’’ Dr Kennedy said.

He teamed up with UC academic developer Dr Erik Brogt and education expert Dr Billy O'Steen in a two-year project to put some of the ideas into practice in UC geology lectures.

With a grant from Ako Aotearoa, the national centre for tertiary teaching excellence, the team encouraged students to interact with other students and the lecturer to solve problems during lectures.

``They responded to questions using digital devices called clickers. Lectures are focussed around helping students to achieve goals or specific learning outcomes.

``We measured student attitudes and learning in traditional courses and compared them to courses with interactive Wieman- style activities. Despite the already unusually high levels of learning in the geology department at UC, significant improvements could be seen.

``We had students telling us it was more challenging, more engaging and they actually had to think and process issues. They began processing that information as they learned it rather than just putting it all in the notes and forgetting.’’

Nobel laureate Dr Wieman has used the research in Canada to develop resources to improve learning in university science courses.

The UC pilot project used perception and concept surveys before and after undergraduate science courses to measure students’ attitudes towards science, as well as their knowledge.

The research team used these data, complemented with classroom observations of student engagement and student focus group interviews, to work with lecturers to create interventions to enhance student engagement and learning.

Dr Kennedy said the results showed several positive changes relating to the interventions and they suggested several recommendations for lecturers and course coordinators.

The recommendations included making learning outcomes clear, both for the lecturer and the students. They suggested using interactive activities to improve engagement, develop deeper levels of thinking and improve learning.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Off To Leeds: Wellington’s Local Naked Girl Spreads Her Wings

Wellington born, bred and based live artist Virginia Kennard, self confessed “local naked girl”, has earned a place on the MA in Performance programme at Leeds Beckett University and flies away in 2 months time. More>>

Free Diving: William Trubridge Breaks World Record

With just a single breath, New Zealand free diver William Trubridge has successfully broken his own unassisted free dive world record of 101 metres. More>>

ALSO:

RLWC 2017 Draw: New Zealand Set For A Festival Of Rugby League

New Zealand Rugby League fans will have the chance to see the Kiwis in action against the best in the Pacific region for the Rugby League World Cup 2017, as announced today at the Official Tournament Draw. More>>

ALSO:

Non-Pokemon News: Magical Park A Safer Augmented Reality For Younger Audiences

Since May, Wellington City Council has been trialling a new app, Magical Park, in collaboration with the game’s New Zealand developer Geo AR Games, in parks around the city. Magical Park uses GPS technology to get users moving around the park to play within a set boundary. More>>

'Erroneous': Pokemon App Makers On Huge Privacy Flaw

We recently discovered that the Pokémon Go account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user's Google account... More>>

ALSO:

Te Wiki O Te Reo: Te Reo Māori Is For All New Zealanders — Minister

Minister for Māori Development Te Ururoa Flavell welcomes the start of Māori Language Week today and invites all New Zealanders to give speaking te reo Māori a go. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news