Project Based Learning Design

This week’s post builds off of last week’s entry on Project Based Learning. The link below takes you to The Buck Institute for Education’s blog, where the essential elements of project based learning design are laid out. The Buck Institute is a national leader in developing and training teachers in Project Based Learning; I’ve found their resources very helpful!

Essential Project Design Elements

Preparing Teachers for Project Based Learning

This week’s article from EDWeek is about how and why teacher-preparation programs need to include training in implementing Project Based Learning. Even if you’re not engaged in preparing future K-12 teachers, there’s a lot of useful information here, particularly “5 Key Practices of a PBL Teacher”. Projects are difficult to implement, but can be transformative for courses and students.

Preparing Teachers for Project Based Learning

Curating your digital academic identity

This post from The Chronicle is over a year old, so some of the mentions of technologies and services may be out of date, but the advice is sound. Academics ought to take charge of their digital identity, not only to increase there visibility, but also to model this behavior for students.

The UTA library has many services that can help, including the Division of Scholarly Communication. There’s also the Domain of One’s Own initiative from the LINK lab, which allows faculty and students to grab their own web domain for free!

How To Curate Your Digital Identity

Beginning with a question

Maybe it’s the philosopher in me, but I think starting class with a question is a great idea. Put something up on the board or projector for the students to think about as they come in the door.

This particular idea focuses on multiple choice questions as a way to start class. It also involves a bucket, a mystery box, and contemporary art. Click through to find out a new way to start your class with a question.

Why You Should Start Your Class With A Question

Large Class Engagement Strategies

To be honest, I think the title of this Faculty Focus post — “Flipping Large Classes” — is misleading. It’s not really about flipping, it’s just a few good engagement/in class group work strategies that can work in large lecture halls. My own pedantry aside, there’s still some good advice here, including a variation on the jigsaw activity and something called “six thinking hats.” Actual hats are, fortunately, not required.

Flipping Large Classes: Three Strategies to Engage Students

Group Work and More In Philosophy

The blog of the American Philosophical Association regularly hosts a “teaching workshop,” where reader questions about teaching will be answered. I am a philosopher, so I appreciate this discipline specific approach. But much of what is said is just good teaching advice. The most recent workshop features questions and answers about group work, team-based learning, and allowing students to revise work.

APA May Teaching Workshop


Student engagement tips, from a student

The following post from Edutopia is written by a student who just graduated from a high school in Nashville. While some of the advice is geared toward K-12 teachers, much of it is relevant for those of us who teach undergraduates as well. Work can be “displayed” electronically via portfolios or blogs. Students can be given choices in topics for papers or even entire project formats while maintaining rigor. But, most importantly, is establishing relationships with the students we teach.

4 Student Engagement Tips (From a Student)

ECHO 360 Training

Some of you may already use ECHO360 for classroom capture, but it can be used for a lot more! Don Lane, our resident ECHO guru, is bringing the ECHO 360 folks to campus on August 23rd for a day of training. They will be doing a variety of session in Science Hall 100
From 10 am until noon, Don and the ECHO folks will give a complete overview of ECHO. If you’re brand new to ECHO, this is the place to start. Even if you’ve used it before, this may be a good place to explore all of its capabilities.
From 12:30 until 2:30, the ECHO team, Don, and others will host a drop in Q&A session. This is best for current users of ECHO who have specific questions or just need some targeted assistance.
Don showed me all the stuff ECHO is capable of yesterday, including personal/desktop video making. Cool stuff!