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Learning Theories

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1. Allen DE, Duch BJ, Groh SE. 1996. The power of problem‐based learning in teaching introductory science courses. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 1996:43–52.

2. ASCD, Marzano RJ. 2004. A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works. Prentice Hall.

3. Spiegel CN, Alves GG, Cardona TS. 2008. Discovering the cell: an educational game about cell and molecular biology. Journal of Biological … 43:27–36.

Marzano’s A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works includes several different teaching strategies, but two in particular are of interest to me.  The first is the use of analogies and metaphors to help students to grasp complex concepts.  Although I use this technique often my majors and non-majors classes, it is in the non-majors classes that this really pays off.  The other strategy that is of interest to me is the use of schematic note taking (aka mind mapping/concept mapping/graphical note taking, etc).  I try to get my students to use concept mapping to draw (literally) connections between the different concepts presented in the chapter.  However, this is sometimes easier said than done.

The other two references directly relate to the reason I applied for this residency.  I am a huge fan of board games in general and an fascinated by how games can be used to teach complex concepts.  Most game-based education tools now days are computer based, but there are still a few of us that are fans of analog games, as well.  The project that I have my students work on is not to play the board game, but to design the game from the ground up.  My reasoning is that in order to design a thematic board game, they must fully understand the subject material.  The exercise is assigned as a group project that is completed throughout the semester.

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