Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Exam #1 part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
The outcome of the first exam is too often a reality check for students that the learning strategies they brought to this class are not effective. The learning strategies they bring to class are, for many non-science students in introductory science classes, based on models that may work in other disciplines. Shaken by their grade on the first exam students are often now open to rethinking their strategies. Seize the moment!
What Do You Know Now? part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
An opportunity to offer metacognitive teaching arises from the simple question "what do you know now that you didn't before (whatever)"? This simple question can be asked after a reading, a lecture, a lab or other unit of student activity. The thrust is to force the student to consider what they've been exposed to and reflect on what they've learned. Did the activity change their opinion? Did this activity help them identify an analogy? Of course, having asked these questions it behooves us to challenge their self-assessment through a quiz or second activity. Having had their knowledge tested we can ask a second string of questions to see if they want to change their answer to "what do you know now." This approach can be illustrated by assigning the class to read a short section of their textbook or and article. The instructor would ask "what do you know now that you didn't before you read the section?" followed by a set of questions challenging the student to extend what they read to another situation. Reviewing the answer to that challenge the instructor would then ask the students to reflect on what they thought they knew and whether that helped them answer the second question. This presents a situation in which the instructor can then explicitly discuss strategies for adapting their learning to new situations.
Challenging Pre-Conceptions part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
Students carry into class pre-conceptions based on stories they've heard, articles they've read and experiences they've had. One of the best opportunities to teach metacognition is at a 'gotcha' moment when they come to realize their pre-conception is amiss.
What's Wrong with This Picture? part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
In LectureTools, after an introduction to basics of energy transfer students are presented with image of infrared radiation and asked which parts of image make sense and which parts do not. This invariably leads to questions about why Equatorial region registers cold and yields a teachable moment about radiative transfer.
Peer Instruction part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
Peer instruction may offer some of the richest opportunities for metacognitive teaching. Reciprocal (peer) teaching forces the instructor to use a whole series of metacognitive processes such as determining what the learner already knows, deciding what is to be taught/learned and how; monitoring comprehension and evaluating the outcome in terms of increased comprehension, which in turn encourages the instructor to reflect upon his or her own thinking processes. By asking the students to defend their answer to a question to another student you are, in effect, moving the role of "teacher" to the students.
Extreme Weather part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Online Courses
This course provides an introduction to the physics of extreme weather events. We examine solar eruptions, ice ages, climate change, monsoons, El Niño, hurricanes, floods, droughts, heat waves, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, tornadoes, and other extreme atmospheric events to illustrate the basic physical laws that produce these events.