Teach Better

Podcast Episode 47: Experiential Learning and Organizational Psychology with David Berg

- - posted in episode, podcast

Our guest in this episode is organizational psychologist David Berg. He has taught in the Yale School of Management and is currently a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Yale School of Medicine. David teaches students new ways to look at how organizations function through examples from their own lives. His classes look far more like organic conversations than traditional lectures, and students rave about how much they learn. We certainly learned a lot in our conversation.

Getting Creative in Intermediate Microeconomic Theory

- - posted in economics, groupwork, lecture

Intermediate Micro Theory is a required course for all economics majors. Grades are typically based exclusively on problem sets and exams. I just posted this rather unconventional assignment for my Intermediate Micro students. They will work on it throughout the semester. I have no idea how it will go, but it will be fun to find out!

Playable Show Notes

- - posted in podcast

Since the beginning, the Teach Better Podcast has included pretty good show notes along with our episodes. This has mostly been the work of my cohost Edward O’Neill, who also handles all our audio production. In these notes, we provide references and links to resources we mention in our conversations. We also break every episode into 5-10 minute chunks and give you a rough sense of the content of each. As of today that these chunks are individually playable from the website!

Playing Games on the First Day with MobLab

- - posted in economics, edtech, lecture

Introductory economics courses usually include a lot of handwaving. Students learn the basic concepts (e.g., supply and demand), but the math involved is pretty simplistic. That all changes in Intermediate Micro where students build and analyze serious mathematical models using calculus. I’m teaching this course right now, and I’m using MobLab to mix in some fun experiential learning.

Podcast Episode 46: Mixing Media and Pedagogies Using StudioLab with Jon McKenzie

- - posted in episode, podcast

Jon McKenzie is a visiting professor in Cornell University’s English Department and a Dean’s Fellow for Media and Design. He is a teacher, an artist, and a teacher of artists. Jon and his students refuse to be constrained by the traditional academic media of articles and books, and instead work together to communicate ideas using alternative media such as audio, video, zines, and virtual reality environments. Jon has also developed his own pedagogical method which he calls StudioLab. During our conversation, we talk about how he combines elements of seminar classes, lecture classes, studio classes, and computer labs into single action-packed three hour class periods.

Unlocking Podcasts with Search, Browsing, and Transcripts

- - posted in podcast

I love podcasts. I listen on long car trips, short errands, and while doing chores around the house. Podcasts fill similar niches in many peope’s lives, but far more people either don’t have or don’t want to fill those niches. Wouldn’t it be great if all the content currently locked away in podcasts were available to them too? And even for podcast fans, the content of podcasts is difficult to browse and nearly impossible to search.

Podcast Episode 45: Inspiring Students with Steven Strogatz

- - posted in episode, podcast

In this episode Professor Steven Strogatz joins us from the Cornell Math Department. He is a world-renowned mathematician, known primarily for his work in non-linear dynamics and chaos theory, and he is the award-winning author of Sync, The Calculus of Friendship, and The Joy of x. He also happens to be one of the best teachers at Cornell. During our a wide-ranging conversation, Steve talks with us about helping students discover for themselves the joys and frustrations of mathematical thinking.

Podcast Episode 44: Teaching Neuroscience in Prison with Sam Doernberg and Joe DiPietro

- - posted in episode, podcast

In Spring of 2015, Sam Doernberg and Joe DiPietro taught Introduction to Neuroscience to 10 students in the Auburn Correctional Facility in upstate New York as part of the Cornell Prison Education Program. In this episode Sam and Joe tell us the ways in which the class was the same and different from the large lecture version of the class they taught to undergraduates at Cornell. They also share just how rewarding the experience was for all involved.