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The Teach Better Podcast

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Education
Courses
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The Teach Better Podcast is a series of conversations with teachers about teaching. We talk mostly with faculty in higher education, but will occasionally talk with other teachers too. Your hosts are Doug McKee and Edward O’Neill.

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The Teach Better Podcast is a series of conversations with teachers about teaching. We talk mostly with faculty in higher education, but will occasionally talk with other teachers too. Your hosts are Doug McKee and Edward O’Neill.

iTunes Ratings

18 Ratings
Average Ratings
13
3
1
1
0

Are they all this good?

By librariandee - Oct 18 2017
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This was my first episode and it was great! I love Cult of Pedagogy and I was hoping to find another podcast that was just as good. This is it. I'm looking forward to listening to more episodes to get more ideas.

Pretty Good

By K3ll33n - Jul 12 2016
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It's an interesting take on education from non-education professors. I really appreciate hearing the biggest failure at the end of each podcast. Each professor interviewed gives a different take on how to move past and build off their past mistakes. My favorite episodes are 10, 11, 13, 14, and 18.

iTunes Ratings

18 Ratings
Average Ratings
13
3
1
1
0

Are they all this good?

By librariandee - Oct 18 2017
Read more
This was my first episode and it was great! I love Cult of Pedagogy and I was hoping to find another podcast that was just as good. This is it. I'm looking forward to listening to more episodes to get more ideas.

Pretty Good

By K3ll33n - Jul 12 2016
Read more
It's an interesting take on education from non-education professors. I really appreciate hearing the biggest failure at the end of each podcast. Each professor interviewed gives a different take on how to move past and build off their past mistakes. My favorite episodes are 10, 11, 13, 14, and 18.

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Cover image of The Teach Better Podcast

The Teach Better Podcast

Updated 1 day ago

Read more

The Teach Better Podcast is a series of conversations with teachers about teaching. We talk mostly with faculty in higher education, but will occasionally talk with other teachers too. Your hosts are Doug McKee and Edward O’Neill.

Podcast #6: What Makes a Great Lecture? with Donald Kagan

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We talk with Yale's Donald Kagan about what makes a great lecture and his unique approach to teaching seminars.

Apr 20 2015

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Podcast #72: Course Evaluations with Betsy Barre

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Everyone has an opinion about course evaluations, but most of these opinions are based on personal anecdotes and armchair speculation. Our guest in this episode is Betsy Barre, author of several articles reviewing the literature on what's right and what's wrong with course evaluations. Betsy is currently an Associate Director at Rice University's Center for Teaching Excellence, and in May 2018 she will move on to become the Executive Director of the Teaching and Learning Collaborative at Wake Forest University. We cover a lot of ground during our conversation about this important and complex topic.

Mar 22 2018

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Podcast #21: Teaching Philosophically with Boris Kapustin

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In this episode we're joined by Boris Kapustin, one of the most highly regarded teachers in Yale's Ethics, Politics, and Economics Program. We talk about how he leads seminars on political theory, connects philosophy to historical events, and changes how students think about the world they live in.

Nov 16 2015

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Podcast #24: Memory, Motivation, and Metacognition with Michael Honsberger

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In this episode we're joined by Michael Honsberger, neuroscientist and STEM project manager for Yale's Young Global Scholar's Program. Michael has a background studying memory including a PhD in behavioral neuroscience and a postdoc in Yale's Division of Molecular Psychiatry. He talks to us about how we can use knowledge of how the brain works to become better teachers.

Jan 18 2016

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Podcast #52: Teams and Game Design with Walker White

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Walker White has one of the coolest jobs in higher ed. He directs Cornell’s Game Design Initiative, and teaches beginning and advanced game design classes in the computer science department. In this episode we go deep inside Walker's introductory games course for programmers, writers, and artists. He tells us how he organizes his students in heterogeneous teams, gives them copious feedback, and helps each team build a brand new playable game by the end of the semester.

Apr 17 2017

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Podcast #3: Student-Centered Learning with Jenny Frederick

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We talk with Jenny Frederick from the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning about Student-Centered Learning.

Mar 09 2015

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Podcast #68: Teaching Online with Doug, Edward, and Laura Gibbs

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Laura Gibbs has been teaching mythology and folklore online since 2002 for the University of Oklahoma. For the past five summers, Doug has taught small private online courses (SPOC's) for the Yale Summer Session, and Edward has taught several courses in a variety of online formats. In this episode all three share the lessons they've learned along the way.

Dec 15 2017

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Podcast #31: A Life Worth Living with Matt Croasmun

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Matt Croasmun directs the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and teaches a course with the same name in Yale College. Started by Miroslav Volf and Ryan McAnnally-Linz, the course helps students engage with a big important question: What is a good life? In an especially wide ranging conversation, we talk with Matt about possible answers, how to go about finding an answer, and the nuts and bolts of teaching such an ambitious class.

May 09 2016

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Podcast #50: Active Learning with Peter LePage

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Peter LePage from the Cornell Physics Department joins us on our extra special 50th episode to talk about active learning pedagogy. He shares his first teaching experiences, his introduction to physics education research, and why he believes students benefit from problem solving and discussion in class. We also talk about the Active Learning Inititive, a program Peter started at Cornell that was inspired by Carl Wieman's Science Education Initiave. Both programs aim to change the culture of teaching in higher ed by giving departments large grants to radically overhaul how they teach their undergraduate courses.

Mar 22 2017

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Podcast #47: Experiential Learning and Organizational Psychology with David Berg

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Our guest in this episode is organizational psychologist David Berg. He has taught in the Yale School of Management and is currently a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Yale School of Medicine. David teaches students new ways to look at how organizations function through examples from their own lives. His classes look far more like organic conversations than traditional lectures, and students rave about how much they learn. We certainly learned a lot in our conversation.

Feb 06 2017

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Podcast #7: Exploring New Ideas in Your Teaching with David Bromwich

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We talk with Yale's David Bromwich about how and why he teaches such a broad range of classes.

May 04 2015

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Podcast #61: The Future of Educational Technology

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In this blockbuster finale of #edtechsummer, Edward and Doug invite three experts to share their thoughts on the future of educational technology. Michael Feldstein (e-Literate and Mindwires Consulting) reminds us that technology should serve pedagogy and suggests some sensible criteria we can use to evaluate new products. Matthew Rascoff (Duke Center for Instructional Technology) talks specifically about the future of the Learning Management System (LMS) and the potential for edtech to help students connect with each other. Brian Alexander (independent futurist) steps back to ponder the broader impact of technology on higher education. All in all, this is one of our most thought-provoking episodes.

Aug 29 2017

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Podcast #37: Using POGIL to Get out of the Lecture Game with Andri Smith

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In this episode we talk to Associate Professor Andri Smith about how she brings organic chemistry to life at Quinnipiac University by using POGIL:  Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. Students work in small groups, and discover scientific principles for themselves through guided exercises.

Aug 01 2016

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Podcast #63: A Better Way to Integrate Student Presentations into the Classroom with Ileen Devault

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Ileen Devault is a historian in Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations school. In this episode she talks with us how about how she shares teaching responsibility with her students by having them lead discussion of topics using primary sources. In the process, they learn about archival research, they bring fresh energy into the classroom, and perhaps most important, they learn to think like historians.

Sep 27 2017

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Podcast #39: Communicating Effectively with Jeff Niederdeppe

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In this episode we are joined by Associate Professor Jeff Niederdeppe from the Cornell Department of Communication. His research focuses on public communication about health and health care, and he teaches classes on planning and implementing communication campaigns as well as undergraduate research methods. Jeff shares with us how he brings his disciplinary skills into the classroom, as well as how and why he makes group projects a big part of his courses.

Sep 19 2016

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Podcast #42: Evidence-based Teaching with Bill Goffe

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Bill Goffe teaches economics at Penn State where he is both a consumer and a producer of evidence-based teaching. He is also an Associate Editor at the Journal of Economic Education. In this episode we talk about how to get the most out of the research-based teaching literature, how to use evidence to persuade your colleagues to change how they teach, and how to get started doing your own teaching-related research.

Nov 07 2016

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Podcast #13: Active Learning with Lynne Regan

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Professor Lynne Regan from Yale's Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry believes in the power of active learning. In this episode she shares what she's learned incorporating active learning exercises into her classes.

Jul 27 2015

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Podcast #41: Confronting Teaching Challenges with Edward and Doug

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Edward and Doug discuss several challenges they've faced in teaching new classes this semester. Edward needs help motivating online students from 3,000 miles away, while Doug tries to energize students in an early morning econometrics class. Edward's screenwriting class has a lot of moving parts to track, and Doug's juggling in-class activities and short bursts of lecturing. Both of them wrestle with new Learning Management Systems and other technology. There's something for everyone in this episode.

Oct 24 2016

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Podcast #70: Encouraging Creativity with Robert Sternberg

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Cornell psychologist Robert Sternberg has done seminal work on creativity, wisdom, and cognitive styles. He cares deeply about higher education and teaching, and in this episode we focus on the role of creativity in the classroom. We talk about the importance of creativity in today's labor market, how to measure creativity, and how many students are motivated to learn when they are given an opportunity to be creative.

Feb 13 2018

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Podcast #10: Eight Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

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Edward and Doug reflect back to identify eight habits which almost all of our guests have used to teach effectively. If you're new to the podcast, this is a great place to start since it's filled with our favorite quotes from earlier episodes.

Jun 15 2015

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Podcast #81: Becoming a Teacher with Kevin Gannon

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Kevin Gannon is the director of the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, and he’s also a Professor of History. Many of our listeners may know him from his articles in the Chronicle of Higher Ed or his popular Twitter feed where he writes about teaching, dogs, race, politics, and seemingly whatever else is on his mind. In this episode we dig deep on Kevin’s personal teaching journey and learn how he came to be the teacher he is today and what kind of teacher he aspires to be in the future.

Jun 25 2019

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Podcast #80: Classrooms for Active Learning with Robert Talbert

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The evidence is clear that when students work actively in the classroom, they learn more. It's also true that most of the classrooms we teach in were designed for a professor to lecture to a group of students that sit passively and take notes. What do classrooms designed for active learning look like? Do students learn more when we teach in active learning classrooms? And what other impacts might teaching in active learning classrooms have on students and instructors? Robert Talbert, a math professor and education researcher at Grand Valley State University, recently took a deep dive into the literature on these questions, and in this episode he shares what he's learned.

Apr 22 2019

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Podcast #79: The Fundamentals of Teaching with Doug Robertson

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Our guest today, Doug Robertson, is one of the best teachers on the planet. He teaches 4th grade at Powell Valley Elementary School outside Portland, Oregon, and you might know him from his multiple interviews and podcasts, his books, his YouTube channel, or maybe his incredibly entertaining Twitter stream. While we usually focus on higher ed on the show, we had a great conversation with Doug about how we apply the fundamental principles of teaching in our respective classrooms.

Feb 26 2019

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Podcast #78: Edward and Doug Debrief

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This fall Doug and Edward both taught classes of their own. In their latest episode, they reflect on their challenges, what they tried, and what they learned.

Dec 21 2018

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Podcast #77: Active Learning, Motivation, and Peer Assessment with Jose Vazquez

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Jose Vasquez has been teaching economics at the University of Illinois for 14 years. He teaches one of the largest introductory microeconomics classes in the world every semester with more than 900 students. He also teaches one of the biggest intro micro MOOC’s in the world: His Coursera course has had more than 100,000 students register in the last five years. He thinks deeply about how best to use his class time and what he wants students to do outside class.
Our conversation covers a wide range as Jose explains what still excites him about teaching and how he got to where he is. Among other things, we talk about the joys of active learning, the importance of motivating our students, and the benefits (and costs) of peer assessment.

Nov 21 2018

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Podcast #76: Applying Teaching Insights across Disciplines with Justin Cerenzia

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Justin Cerenzia teaches history at St George’s School in Middletown, Rhode Island. We don’t usually have guests from high schools on the show, but Justin is no ordinary high school teacher. He’s also the director of the school’s teaching center and someone who pays keen attention to research on pedagogy across the board. In this episode we talk to Justin about how teaching methods and ideas being popularized in STEM fields can translate to the humanities.

Sep 25 2018

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Podcast #75: Classroom Observation with Marilyne Stains

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Outside observers can give instructors valuable formative feedback, and with the right observers and the right instruments, classroom observation can also be a useful (if incomplete) measure of teaching quality. Our guest, Marilyne Stains, teaches in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where she specializes in chemical and science education. She has used a range of measures of instructor and student behavior in her research and recently co-authored the largest-ever study of STEM teaching practices that analyzed classroom observation data for more than 2,000 classes. In this episode, we discuss the pros and cons of a variety of classroom observation techniques from reliable objective measures like COPUS to completely unstructured note-taking.

Aug 08 2018

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Podcast #74: Engaged Learning with Monroe Weber-Shirk

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Monroe Weber-Shirk has taught engineering at Cornell for 24 years, and in 2005 he started the AguaClara Cornell program where he works closely with local partners, graduate students, and up to 80 undergraduates at a time. Together they develop, implement, and maintain sustainable water treatment facilities in multiple developing countries. It's an incredible model of deeply engaged learning at scale, and in this episode Monroe tells us how it works and how he got here.

Jun 20 2018

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Podcast #73: Teaching Physics Teachers with Mac Stetzer

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Mac Stetzer from the University of Maine Physics Department is an active physics education researcher with lots of experience teaching teachers how to teach physics better. In this episode he shares his lessons learned working with undergraduate learning assistants, graduate student teaching assistants, and teachers at the K-12 level.

May 03 2018

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Podcast #72: Course Evaluations with Betsy Barre

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Everyone has an opinion about course evaluations, but most of these opinions are based on personal anecdotes and armchair speculation. Our guest in this episode is Betsy Barre, author of several articles reviewing the literature on what's right and what's wrong with course evaluations. Betsy is currently an Associate Director at Rice University's Center for Teaching Excellence, and in May 2018 she will move on to become the Executive Director of the Teaching and Learning Collaborative at Wake Forest University. We cover a lot of ground during our conversation about this important and complex topic.

Mar 22 2018

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Podcast #71: Virtual Reality and Teaching with Andrea Stevenson Won

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Andrea Stevenson Won is an assistant professor in the Cornell Communication Department where she directs the Virtual Embodiment Lab. She studies how people communicate in virtual environments and how this differs from other forms of communication. She spends her days working with the latest virtual reality gear and conducting experiments in virtual worlds. She’s also collaborating with physicists to create new ways of teaching using VR. In this episode Andrea talks with us about how virtual reality affects her teaching today and how it could affect all our teaching tomorrow.

Mar 07 2018

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Podcast #70: Encouraging Creativity with Robert Sternberg

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Cornell psychologist Robert Sternberg has done seminal work on creativity, wisdom, and cognitive styles. He cares deeply about higher education and teaching, and in this episode we focus on the role of creativity in the classroom. We talk about the importance of creativity in today's labor market, how to measure creativity, and how many students are motivated to learn when they are given an opportunity to be creative.

Feb 13 2018

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Podcast #69: Extreme Teaching

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In this episode we take a walk through our archive and share some amazing examples of extreme teaching. These include college classes in prisons and chapels, incorporating balloons and cotton candy machines into a student project fair, and holding office hours on the radio. If you're new to the podcast or just want to be inspired by feats of pedagogical daring, you're going to love this one.

Jan 23 2018

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Podcast #68: Teaching Online with Doug, Edward, and Laura Gibbs

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Laura Gibbs has been teaching mythology and folklore online since 2002 for the University of Oklahoma. For the past five summers, Doug has taught small private online courses (SPOC's) for the Yale Summer Session, and Edward has taught several courses in a variety of online formats. In this episode all three share the lessons they've learned along the way.

Dec 15 2017

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Podcast #67: Beyond Multiple Choice with Mark Urban-Lurain

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Mark Urban-Lurain is the Associate Director for Engineering Education Research at Michigan State University. He's also the Principle Investigator on an NSF-sponsored project developing methods and software for Automated Analysis of Constructed Responses. Open-ended questions force students to think differently than multiple choice questions, but are much harder to grade. In this episode we talk to Mark about how the project uses machine learning to evaluate and analyze free text answers in order to shed new light on student understanding and misconceptions.

Nov 28 2017

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Podcast #66: Concept Inventories with Michelle Smith

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Michelle Smith is an Associate Professor in the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine, and she's one of the world's leading discipline-based education researchers. Among many other things, she studies why and how peer discussion works as an effective teaching tool, collaborates with biology teachers in college and high school settings, and develops concept inventories (standard assessments of learning) at the course and program level. In this episode, we talk about the benefits of using concept inventories in your own classes, and Michelle gives advice for finding, creating and/or giving them.

Nov 07 2017

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Podcast #65: Modeling Instruction with Eric Brewe

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Modeling Instruction (MI) is a curriculum and pedagogy based on the idea that science learning involves creation, use, validation, and revision of conceptual models. Our guest, Eric Brewe, is a physics education researcher at Drexel University who develops, studies, and uses MI in higher education. In this episode, Eric explains what Modeling Instruction is and how it differs from other highly active ways of teaching science. He goes on to share research on how MI increases test scores, reduces drop out, and substantially improves student attitudes toward physics. Eric also tells us how he got started in education research working with the David Hestenes, the creator of modeling instruction.

Oct 27 2017

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Podcast #64: Collaborative Exams with Teddy Svoronos

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Teddy Svoronos is a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He’s most well known for his creative use of technology in the classroom, but he's actually someone who thinks about pedagogy first and lets that dictate all of his tech choices. In this episode he tells us how he gives exams where students work independently first, and then teach each other during a collaborative second stage. He also shares some analysis he's done of the results that have encouraged him to increase the amount of collaboration in his classes.

Oct 09 2017

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Podcast #63: A Better Way to Integrate Student Presentations into the Classroom with Ileen Devault

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Ileen Devault is a historian in Cornell’s Industrial and Labor Relations school. In this episode she talks with us how about how she shares teaching responsibility with her students by having them lead discussion of topics using primary sources. In the process, they learn about archival research, they bring fresh energy into the classroom, and perhaps most important, they learn to think like historians.

Sep 27 2017

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Podcast #62: Reinventing Science Labs with Natasha Holmes

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Our guest is Natasha Holmes, an Assistant Professor in the Cornell Physics Department who specializes in physics education research. For the last several years, Natasha has been figuring out ways to increase the amount students learn in science labs. While some students find traditional lab courses to be transformative experiences, many more find them to be mindless recipe following exercises. In this episode, Natasha shares her vision for science labs that get students thinking critically, carefully, and creatively. We also talk about the value of doing educational research in our disciplines.

Sep 12 2017

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