Tag Archives: worksheets

Integrating active worksheets into a lecture-based Biology course

What is your strategy?

The factual information that is required for understanding the topics being discussed in each lecture are presented in a short Powerpoint presentation, which is posted on Blackboard directly after class.  At the start of each lecture, students are provided a list of the learning goals and objectives that clearly state what facts, concepts, and skills they are expected to acquire from the lecture. The short presentations are supplemented with worksheets that are designed to be completed at different points during class time, usually intermittent with the Powerpoint presentation.  Activities written within the worksheets are varied and include learning games, designing experiments, and analyzing figures from primary literature to reinforce the facts and concepts addressed during the Powerpoint presentation.  Importantly, students are allowed to choose whether they work on the worksheets on their own or in small group (no more than 3 students per group).  After giving students 3-10 minutes per question on the worksheet, students share their answers and have the opportunity to analyze and provide feedback for each other’s responses.  Ultimately, the bulk of the time spent in the classroom is spent addressing any misconceptions or confusion about the material introduced in the Powerpoint presentation.  With the students consistently engaged in the material, they learn from their instructor, each other, and on their own throughout the 90 minutes of class time. 

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