The Science Learnification Weekly – June 6, 2011

This is a collection of things that tickled my science education fancy in the past couple of weeks or so

Flipping/Inverting the classroom

I am just about done writing a post in response to Bret Benesh’s request to hear a bit more about my plans for flipping my upcoming 3rd-year Quantum Mechanics I course. Until then, here are some posts of interest.

  • What should we flip? Jerrid Kruse posts about putting exploration before explanation in the context of the flipped classroom. In the comments Brian Frank reminds about Dan Schwartz’s Preparation for Future Learning (nicely summarized by Stephanie Chasteen in this post), which is exploration before explanation with the larger goal of transfer due to student understanding of underlying structure.
  • Vocabulary and Jargon: Related to all of this, Brian Frank asks if it is better to frontload the introduction of vocabulary vs. trying to establish conceptual hooks for the students to attach their vocabulary to. Based on thinking about it a bit recently, I have to agree with what Andy Rundquist says in the comments: backloading vocabulary (teaching it after the concepts are in place) makes more sense when students are dealing with concepts that deal with everyday things or for which their intuition provides a basis upon which to build. Frontloading the vocabulary (which is part of my current strategy for my Quantum Mechanics course) makes more sense in advanced courses where the concepts have no basis in everyday experience and where student intuition regarding the concepts and phenomena is not something that you want to build on.
  • How I make screencasts: Lecture capture, part 2 – Robert Talbert continues on with his series on how he makes screencast. In this post he talks specifically about doing lecture capture for non-Keynote/Powerpoint software using Camtasia. Does anybody use Windows anymore? I do, it’s total counter-culture :)

Deliberate Practice

Dark Matter

  • Dark Matters – Jorge Cham (PhD comics) sits down with some physicists and animates their explanation of the dark matter and dark energy mysteries.

Standards-Based Grading

  • Academic Damage – Tracie Schroeder reminds us that there will always be point-grubbing students that figure out how to earn higher grades than they should have with her quick story of a student in her chemistry class.
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