Align Teaching Strategies to Learning Goals
Some active learning strategies are particularly good for helping to achieve particular learning goals. Once you have identified the desired outcomes, you can decide on a teaching method that will help reach them. Some potential learning goals are listed below along with links to information about relevant active learning strategies; the Pedagogy in Action website details information about many more.
Strategies that provide formative assessment
Formative assessment provides faculty and students with information to help improve their performance but either is not graded or does not constitute a significant part of the students' grade.
Strategies that facilitate small group discussions
Small group discussions help students to learn from each other. Asking and answering each others' questions has been shown to improve student learning.
- Gallery Walk
- Cooperative exams (from On the Cutting Edge)
- Cooperative Learning
- Studio Teaching
Strategies that engage students in deep learning about a topic
Deep learning allows students to really dig into some topics. This may limit the volume of content that can be "covered" in a course, but it helps develop student engagement and geoscience habits of mind.
Strategies that foster metacognition
Effective learning involves planning and goal-setting, monitoring one's progress, and adapting as needed. All of these activities are metacognitive in nature and, by teaching students these skills, we can improve student learning.
Strategies that emphasize problem solving
Emphasizing problem solving is a great way to help students learn to think like a scientist. Understanding various approaches to solving problems will give students an expansive toolkit to use in any discipline.
- Context-Rich Problems
- Using Investigative Cases
- Faculty-Coached Problem Solving
- Guided Discovery Problems
- Teaching with the Case Method
Strategies that emphasize relevance to students' lives
Demonstrating relevance to students' lives is a power engagement mechanism. It also helps broaden the pool of students interested in studying geoscience and other STEM disciplines.
- Campus Living Laboratories
- Experience-Based Environmental Projects
- Service Learning
- Using Socioscientific Issues-Based Instruction
Strategies that use technology
Today's students are surrounded by technology. Showcasing how technology can be harnessed in service of science is a powerful engagement tool.
- PhET Interactive Simulations
- Teaching with GIS
- Teaching with Google Earth
- Teaching with Visualizations
Strategies that focus on quantitative skills
Quantitative literacy is an important life skill in addition to being necessary in scientific endeavors. Helping students develop these skills will serve them long-term regardless of what path they choose to follow.