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All posts in Teaching & Learning

Online discussions engage all students

Marah Gubar, English, supplements in-class discussions with Blackboard course management system’s asynchronous threaded discussions in her literature classes. Before implementing online discussions, Gubar had found that shyness, lack of preparation, or lack of time made many students reluctant to participate in class. Online discussions have enabled Gubar to require each . . . Read more

TAs and TFs: The First Line of Response

By Melissa Swauger, TA Serveices, CIDDE Did you ever have a student disappear from class mid-semester only to return on final exam day? Or one who revealed a personal life in disarray when trying to explain his/her chronic absenteeism? How about a student who did poorly on an exam but . . . Read more

Computation & Molecular Visualization in Chemistry

I have been interested in molecular visualization and the potential it holds for students since I first started teaching college students,” comments Lisa Bell-Loncella, Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Bell-Loncella is collaborating with David Waldeck, Chemistry, Oakland campus, to extend the capability for molecular visualization to chemistry students at . . . Read more

Physics Experiments with Applications in Life Sciences

Every year about 300 students take the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s Introduction to Laboratory Physics course for non-majors. Approximately 55 percent of enrolled students come from life science disciplines such as biology, neuroscience, pre-medicine, and pre-dentistry: understanding physics is important to these areas of study, and this course is . . . Read more

Educational Pathology Modules Utilizing Virtual Slide Technology

Drazen M. Jukic will apply his 2004 ACIE grant to revolutionize microscopic pathology instruction and, at the same time, advance the medical diagnostic competencies of physicians in training at the University of Pittsburgh’s Medical School. Jukic notes that diagnostic competencies in reviewing and evaluating microscopic tissue slides are essential to . . . Read more

Teaching award winners sustain student enthusiasm for learning

This issue of the Teaching Times features interviews with the 2003 winners of major University of Pittsburgh teaching awards—five recipients of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and two recipients of the College of Arts and Sciences Bellet Teaching Excellence Award. These seven faculty members represent diverse schools and departments. Nevertheless, . . . Read more

Smorgasbord allows students to achieve in diverse ways

Striving to be an ever more effective teacher, Joseph Grabowski, Chemistry, is determined to assist his students to achieve more than they think they can. Continually experimenting with new strategies and techniques, Grabowski also views himself as a student who uses the University not only to learn more about teaching . . . Read more

Biology students write to learn critical thinking

Writing in the Biological Sciences functions as both a biology course and a course about writing in disciplines,” says Lydia Daniels, Biology. The main assignment is a research paper for which students select a topic from the field, read the primary literature and write a paper for an audience of . . . Read more

Animated Psychiatree©

A new computer application, Animated Psychiatree©, will provide an interactive learning experience through Web-based animation and sound for conceptualizing mental illness. “The idea came out of a desire to teach about psychiatric illness in ways that are interactive, fun, and of high yield,” according to project co-directors Joseph Kithas and . . . Read more

Common Concepts Project: Community

A strong commitment to teaching and to interdisciplinary collaboration is the foundation for the Common Concepts Project: Community at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. During the 2002-2003 academic year, the project committee of six faculty, a librarian, and one student will work to incorporate the theme of “Community” into . . . Read more

An Overview of Service-learning

Editor’s Note: Much of the following discussion is excerpted from a “Service-Learning” Web site created by recent graduate Sarah Johnson and her mentor, Maureen Porter, assistant professor in the School of Education’s Administrative and Policy Studies Department (ADMPS). Additional information can be obtained from this site: http://www.pitt.edu/~lincs. Service-learning has no simple . . . Read more

Educating Intergenerational Teams in Prevention/Literacy Strategies to Promote Positive Child Development and School Achievement

A commitment to the importance of preparing students for intergenerational work is reflected in Educating Intergenerational Teams in Prevention/Literacy Strategies to Promote Positive Child Development and School Achievement, a project to develop a new course. Project director Karen VanderVen, professor in the Program in Child Development, Psychology in Education, recognizes . . . Read more

Curriculum transformations reflect world’s diversity

The following is taken from a paper, “Diversity and the College Curriculum:  Preparing Students for a Changing World,” by Debra Humphreys, Association of American Colleges and Universities, which granted permission for its use.* America’s colleges and universities are educating a larger and more diverse group of students than ever before. As . . . Read more

Global diversity enriches religion classes

Fred Clothey Religious Studies I was increasingly interested in the contribution of minority communities and in the larger issue of what are the dynamics whereby diverse communities can share the same space.  I participated in the University’s diversity seminar in 1996 because I have long believed in the principle of . . . Read more

Development of a Computer-Based Aid for Evaluation of a Student Performance

Development of a Computer-Based Aid for Evaluation of a Student Performance will produce an automated process to evaluate and give feedback to medical students learning acute care skills in the Human Simulator Facility, a multimedia, lifelike simulation of patient contact.  About 150 third-year medical students take Critical Care Medicine each year.  Paul Rogers, project director, . . . Read more

Strategies Adapt to Any Class

Students become engaged in activities that force them to reflect upon ideas and upon how they are using those ideas.   Without sacrificing breadth of coverage, we can increase depth of understanding when students engage with material and immediately attempt to use it.  When students regularly assess their own degree of . . . Read more