Using InTeGrate Materials in Large Lecture Classes

InTeGrate's emphasis on engaging students in hands-on learning means that it isn't always obvious how to make the materials work in large lecture classroom settings. However, there are a range of strategies that can help you make that leap with the students in your large lecture course.

General guidance for making large lecture classes more student-centered can be found in this site developed by NAGT's On the Cutting Edge program.

How instructors across the country have adopted InTeGrate materials for large classes

Cindy Shellito: Adapting Climate of Change for a Large Lecture Course at the University of Northern Colorado
About this Course An an introductory survey course in meteorology and climatology. 55–72 students Three 50-minute lecture sessions One 2-hour lab weekly public university Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 180kB Aug29 13) ...

Joan Ramage: Teaching Natural Hazards and Risks: Hurricanes in Introduction to Environmental Science at Lehigh University
This course in introductory environmental science focuses on an integrated system-level approach to understanding our natural environment at all space scales, and on human time scales. Concepts to be covered span natural and human-induced drivers of environmental change, consequences within ecosystems, physical systems, and social systems, and options for mitigation of and adaptation to environmental change. Example topics include change within systems, biogeochemical cycles, population pressure, ecosystems and diversity, productivity and food security, energy, water resources, climate change, pollution, ozone, urban issues, and sustainability.

Laurel Goodell: Teaching Living on the Edge
Emphasis is on the geological processes that underlie natural hazards, with discussion of relevant policy issues tied to reading recent newspaper and popular science articles. Topics include earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunami, hurricanes, floods, meteorite impacts, and global warming.

Silvia Secchi: Using the Map your Hazards Module in Geography, People and the Environment at Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Silvia Secchi, University of Iowa
My class combines social and biophysical science perspectives to make students undertint the challenges of environmental management. I thought the Map Your Hazard module was a great fit for it. I adapted the module to focus on flooding because my institution, Southern Illinois University (SIU), is in a flood prone area and there are many environmental justice challenges associated with floodplain management here. Further, I study this issue myself with other collaborators at SIU, so I thought this interpretation of the module would be combine place-based education with my research strengths. The main challenge was the large class size.

Astrid Schnetzer: Using Ocean Sustainability in Marine Biology at North Carolina State University
Astrid Schnetzer, North Carolina State University
I piloted this module in a fairly large class with up to 100 students who have rather strong pre-notions of the subjects to be introduced in a "marine biology" class (e.g., sharks and whales). The additional coverage of chemical and physical ocean characteristics and build up to themes of global climate change and its impact on ecosystems and organisms as a whole "caught some by surprise". A number of students did not welcome the use of active teaching tools right away, but in the end, they all embraced the challenge and were excited about the opportunity to share their opinions. The link that was made between the health of marine ecosystems and our actions (i.e. carbon footprint) left the students with a sense of empowerment.

Christopher Berg: GEOL 1121 (Physical Geology) at the University of West Georgia
Christopher Berg, Orange Coast College
My course is a 16-week introductory geology lecture course that is taught in a traditional setting. I replaced half of my traditional lecture content with InteGrate modules and units. I found that by incorporating the student materials into a course packet, integrating readings and assignments into my online CMS, and using in-class polling techniques, I could successfully adapt most of the activities to my large-lecture classroom setting. Students gained an appreciation for the natural resources our society depends upon that they previously took for granted, and the challenges related to preparing for and mitigating natural hazard threats and their wide-reaching impacts.

Judi Roux: BIOL 1001: Biology and Society at University of Minnesota Duluth
Judi Roux, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Even though Biology and Society has a large student enrollment, I prefer that students are actively engaged with the course topics and with each other rather than always listening to a PowerPoint lecture. At the beginning of the semester, students were assigned to teams of four using the CATME Team-maker surveys at Students worked in these teams during lab activities and specific classroom activities. With my fall course, I began to implement case studies to introduce and engage students with required topics, so I appreciated that case studies were available for certain activities within the modules.

Molly Redmond: Using InTeGrate Materials in Biology 3144 (Ecology) at UNC Charlotte
Molly Redmond, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Teaching the Carbon Cycle, Climate Change, and Feedback Loops in Introductory Ecology I used material from the Carbon, Climate and Energy Resources Module and the Changing Biosphere Module, along with some inspiration from the Systems Thinking Module, in my intro Ecology class. This a required core class for Biology majors at UNCC and consists largely of juniors and seniors, but most students have little to no background in environmental science or ecology. I taught two sections of this class, each section had 76 students and met twice a week for 75 minutes. I did the activities in both sections. Our classroom was designed for active learning, with 76 desks on wheels. These desks can face forward during the lecture portion of the class or be moved into groups for activities. This flexible arrangement works very well for my class, which is mix of traditional lecture, frequent clicker questions, and longer group activities. The room has five projectors, so students can see slides on all walls of the room. The one downside is that the room is so full of desks, it's challenging for me to move around the classroom and nearly impossible for the students to move around out of their desks. I modified the InTeGrate materials to suit the physical structure of the classroom and my relatively large (but not huge) classes.

Ellen Wisner: Using InTeGrate Materials in General Biology II at University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Ellen Wisner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
I used material from three different Integrate modules in my General Biology II course. This is the second biology course taken by majors at UNCC, and covers evolution, animal and plant structure and function, and ecology. As a part of the course students do a service learning project related to sustainability. These modules helped to incorporate more discussion of topics related to sustainability in the course, and helped to better link their service learning project to the material covered during class.

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