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Active Classroom

We use this term to describe the environment we create to foster rich problem-solving experiences for students. We create an Active Classroom using Hardware resources and Class Mechanics.

Hardware

In-Class Communication Systems are used to facilitate student engagement in problem-solving in the lecture hall.

  • ClassTalk -- a hard-wired system using TI Graphing Calculators, a a local network, and Macintosh software
  • PRS -- a wireless, PC based system

Class Mechanics

  • Instructor leads brief introduction of topic and rationale for problem
  • Instructor poses a problem using In-Class Communication System
    • Student small group discussion
    • Enter answers
    • Answers from the whole class are compiled
    • Histogram of answer choices are displayed
  • Discuss strategy for problem solving
    • Whole class discussion
    • Instructor facilitated, student-centered

The in-class problem solving is supplemented with a Weekly Quiz to distinguish:

  1. group work encouraged during classroom problem solving
  2. individual accountability for problem solving skills






UMass Logo

Steven D. Brewer -- sbrewer@bio.umass.edu
Elizabeth Connor -- econnor@bio.umass.edu
Steve Goodwin -- sgoodwin@microbio.umass.edu
Tom Hoogendyk -- tomh@bio.umass.edu
Randall Phillis -- rphillis@bio.umass.edu
BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST