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I chose to overhaul an entire course rather than select a specific activity to analyze.  My original thought was to get at the issue of “millennial students” to understand how current students access and think about material in my courses.  That concept seemed to broad when I began working on an earlier assignment so I decided to focus on a course that I had been dissatisfied with for several years.  As I began my search for sources, though, I continued to run into material on how much teaching will need to change to meet the needs of upcoming students.  Since I wanted to completely redo that one course, it was extremely helpful for me to see several of the articles below.
 
1.  Churches, Andrew.  2009.  “Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.”  http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Bloom's+Digital+Taxonomy, accessed July 7, 2009.
This wiki describes an update of Bloom’s taxonomy from 1956.  It gives a history of the taxonomy and makes a fairly large leap in updating the taxonomy to include student collaboration and to incorporate technological tools.  The wiki goes through each level of the taxonomy and gives suggestions of how to update each level for incoming students.  I have used small groups in class before but not to the extent that this wiki suggests that I should be doing.  The justification for collaboration and the suggestions for how to do it were quite enlightening.  The greatest value of the wiki, however, may be the extensive coverage of technological tools.  As the wiki states, the digital taxonomy “isn't about the tools or technologies rather it is about using these to facilitate learning.”  In addition to a brief overview of several varieties of technological tools (e.g., wikis, Skype, Web 2.0), the wiki provides numerous rubrics that can be used to assess students’ use of the technology.  The rubrics are tied directly to the Bloom’s taxonomic levels.
 
2.  Long, Philip D. and Richard Holeton.  2009.  Signposts of the revolution?  What we talk about when we talk about learning spaces.  EDUCAUSE Review 44(2):  36-49. http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume44/SignpostsoftheRevolutionWhatWe/163798, accessed July 7, 2009.
The article focuses on the need to change teaching from an “industrial model” to an “inquiry model.”  Folded into that is a discussion about how the physical space occupied by students influences their ability to apply inquiry learning.  The article indicates that most institutions still use the industrial model which is inadequate for today’s students and for the jobs that they will be doing after graduation.  The article gives a couple of case studies of schools that have tried to renovate their teaching spaces.  I chose this article because I had been wondering where exactly to hold my new version of the class.  I want to have specimens for examination at any point in the class but I also will need access to a computer projection system.  Our lab rooms do not have projection and the classroom is two stories down from the lab.  While I can’t solve those problems this spring, this article was useful especially as my school begins a discussion about remodeling some of the science building.
 
3.  McWilliam, Erica.  2008.  Unlearning how to teach.  Innovations in Education and Teaching International  45(3): 263-269.
This article discusses and expands on the shift in teaching from the Sage-on-the-stage approach to the Guide-on-the-side approach.  The author suggests that while the shift was important, it is time that we update our approach again to something she refers to as Meddler-in-the-middle.  She reinforces the idea that old approaches are irrelevant in a world where knowledge changes rapidly and where new knowledge in usually generated in a social setting.  She suggests that teachers learn to display “useful ignorance” and work alongside their students to generate knowledge rather than transmit information to the students.  While I wonder if some of the discussion about “creating value” is a little wishy-washy for some science content, the article does support a shift that I had been personally stumbling into over the last few years.  It helps support my idea to take a course that is traditionally heavy in content and upend it.  Thanks to the molecular biologists, the taxonomy that I have to cover has changed every year for the past four years.  Since what I teach will be different next year, I really like the author’s Meddler-in-the-middle idea to get my students to figure out where knowledge is at during their current semester.
 
4.  McWilliam, Erica.  2005.  Unlearning pedagogy.  Journal of Learning Design 1(1): 1-11.

Available at, http://www.jld.qut.edu.au/publications/vol1no1/ 

This article refers to seven “Deadly Habits,” most of which I have admittedly been guilty of at least at some point in my career.  The Seven Deadly Habits, according to the article, are: (1) The more learning the better, (2) Teachers should know more than students, (3) Teachers lead, students follow, (4) Teachers assess, students are assessed, (5) Curriculum must be set in advance, (6) The more we know our students, the better, and (7) Our disciplines can save the world.  The article emphasizes that we need to teach in a whole new way.  Active learning and its various synonyms has been in the literature for years, but these approaches have been somewhat limited in their application.  While a lot of emphasis has been placed on learning styles and preparing students for specific paths (e.g., successful admission to med school or grad school), this article adds an additional consideration of larger societal changes and their impact on student learning.
 
5.  Hodder, Janet, Diane Ebert-May, and Janet Batzli.  2006.  Coding to analyze students’ critical thinking.  Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4(3): 162-163.
This short article gives a simple illustration of how to assess student learning through an iterative process.  While the example given in the article concerns students analyzing a research article, the approach could be more general in assessing student understanding of any complex problem.  The article indicates how students can begin the project, how they could revise their understanding, and how faculty could assess the students (with a sample rubric).
 
Articles to peruse in my spare time...(added October 6, 2009)
Armbruster, P., M. Patel, E. Johnson, and M. Weiss. 2009.  Active learning and student-centered pedagogy improve student attitudes and performance in introductory biology.  CBE-Life Sciences Education 8: 203-213.
Hoping that this article will give me some ideas/references for assessment.  Students have hated previous iterations of the course.  It would be nice to see that their attitudes improve.
 
DeHaan, R.L. 2009.  Teaching creativity and inventive problem solving in science.  CBE-Life Sciences Education 8: 172-181.
 
Beckman, T.J. and D.A. Cook.  2007.  Developing scholarly projects in education: A primer for medical teachers. Medical Teacher 29: 210-218.
 
Sundberg, M.D. 2002.  Assessing student learning.  Cell Biology Education 1: 11-15.
Exactly what I need to figure out.  Marsh was my supervisor when I was a TA at Louisiana State years ago and is one of the reasons why I decided to go into teaching.
 
 
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