FHS proposals for T&L symposium

The SFU TLC is planning a symposium called Leading Change @ SFU for May 16 and 17  to explore teaching tools and strategies that enhance the student experience at SFU. Please note that the submission deadline for proposals has been extended to March 15th. This is a unique opportunity to showcase novel FHS teaching strategies that have been developed by our faculty in the form of a workshop, a poster or a round table dialogue. Last Friday (February 24th) we met to discuss some possible proposals that we can prepare for this event. Here is what we developed:

Workshop: Using Student generated iClicker data to apply the scientific method

Nienke vH. and Mark L. will develop a workshop showcasing a novel iClicker strategy that uses student generated data to explore the scientific method. HSCI 100 - Human Biology is an introductory breadth science course for Arts majors. Since this course does not have a laboratory component, Mark and Nienke work towards including active experiential activities that apply the scientific method. The iClicker data collection technique was piloted by Nienke in Fall 2011 and is being refined by Mark in Spring 2012. Thus two instructors will be able to share their experiences with the approach.

To complete the exercise, students first provide demographic variables they would like to discover about the class (e.g., commute time, number of courses, lecture attendance). These data are collected using the iClicker and then merged using iClicker software into graphic charts. For example, one graph correlated exam performance with lecture attendance (more is better). The data packages are then analyzed in tutorial. Students use the data to generate a testable hypothesis based on their observations. They are also asked to describe the limitations and biases that could go into and emerge from the data collection techniques.

The workshop will likely comprise:

- A fun, hands-on, interactive demonstration of the data collection approach using iClickers

- An assessment of student learning before and after the exercise

- Student and/or TA testimonial of the experience

- Participant feedback and suggestions

Plans for future Symposia

Malcolm S. and Kate T. are both working on several novel teaching approaches that they would like showcase at future symposia. Stay tuned for descriptions of their ideas.