Lightning Ideas: Learning Environments

1:30PM - 2:15PM
Senate Chamber
From problem-based learning to active learning tools, attendees will walk away from these three presentations with innovative strategies for engaging students and building community in the classroom.

Changing Learners' Mindsets through Problem-Based Learning

Annette Lang, Marisa Manocchio, Charmayne Polen

Problem-based learning (PBL) is an effective tool to engage and challenge students. Additionally, it fosters the development of critical 21st-century skills. Developing learning experiences that are cross-curricular and help develop problem-solving and innovative thinking can be time consuming and challenging. Bio-Med Science Academy a STEM + M and research and development school’s staff will share templates and strategies they use to develop integrated PBL lessons. Specifically, we will cover how we use John Spencer and A.J. Juliani’s Launch template and the Project Lead the Way engineering design process to guide our students through the PBL process.

Embrace the Chaos: Activities for Large Student Cohorts in Science

Anthony Parker, Pam Megaw

Educators often resort to the didactic lecture as a safe teaching format, especially when tasked with teaching a large cohort of students. However, this teaching style constrains student learning. Educators can enhance student learning by embracing a variety of tools and techniques that engage and motivate students. Co-operative and independent learning tools can be used effectively within a large lecture theater. In this presentation, we propose tools, techniques and guidelines to maximize benefit to students in the physiological sciences. Our experience in implementing speed posters, word bingo, think-pair-share and Top Hat questions as active learning tools and the students’ feedback regarding these tools will be discussed.

Technologies and Innovations in Preservice Teacher Preparation

Julie Maynard, Melissa Wilson

As instructors in the Early Childhood Education program, we have a shared vision to impact teacher preparation and student learning through the use of new technologies and innovations for the classroom. In this presentation, we'll share a collaborative instructional method being implemented in three courses for teacher preparation. The cohort-based and cross-disciplinary approach within a community of learning: (1) integrates new technology in nonfiction writing; (2) incorporates project-based learning; (3) uses student ePortfolios; and (4) practices performance and authentic assessments. The preservice teachers learn strategies to plan, develop and manage student-centered assessment for activities and projects. The cohort group uses their projects during field placement experiences with first graders, including eBooks and text-to-speech animations. Literacy assessments are conducted to discern the strengths and weaknesses in reading and writing of first graders while creating their own eBooks and text-to-speech animations with the cohort group.