UW Colleges Showcase

Fall 2013 UWC Showcase - *under construction*

Investigating Student Learning Kirthi Premadasa - (Mathematics, UW-Baraboo)

Paul Martin received the 2011 Chancellor’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.  Among the reasons cited in the announcement was his commitment to helping students recognize the applications of mathematics in the world around them, a pedagogical approach that connects unfamiliar or abstract ideas to the familiar, illustrates the relevance and value of the course content, and blurs the division between the academic and the practical.  His approach is one we can all adapt to our own disciplines and our own classrooms.

In the example he provides below, Paul and his colleague  (Mathematics, UW-Marathon and VTLC Advisory Committee) offer just one example that’s close to home for Wisconsin students.  

Reflect, Respond, or Interact

Paul's example here offers a few practices we can apply to our own teaching:
  • Connect a course topic from recent weeks to something real and lived in Wisconsin to encourage your students to recognize the relevance, value, and applicability of your course content.
  • Paul and Kirthi, in the end of their article, subtly point out the value of struggle in the learning process.  Consider the opportunities for struggle provided in your courses.  How do you initiate that struggle? Do you provide support during their process of managing such difficulty (a necessity for students to stick with the struggle and move forward)?  What do students gain at the other end of the struggle? 
  • Notice that Paul's example of his effective teaching is collaborative--a project developed with a colleague.  Do you collaborate with colleagues to develop effective learning activities?  To analyze and improve student understanding?  If not, reach out and make such connections with campus or departmental colleagues.
To respond to these questions, select any or all of the following:

Call for Cases

Would you like to be featured in the UWC Showcase?  Do you know of someone who's done exceptional, research-based work on teaching and learning that would be interesting to other faculty and IAS in the UWC?  

Email VTLC Director Jen Heinert (vtlc@uwc.edu).

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