Enhancing Student Engagement and Understanding via Inquiry-Based Learning

77d59004fef10003e155461c4c47e037?s=47 Dana Ernst
February 26, 2019

Enhancing Student Engagement and Understanding via Inquiry-Based Learning

This talk was given on February 26, 2019, as part of the "Good Teaching Round Table" in the Mathematics Department at Boise State University.

77d59004fef10003e155461c4c47e037?s=128

Dana Ernst

February 26, 2019
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  1. Enhancing Student Engagement and Understanding via Inquiry-Based Learning Boise State

    University The Good Teaching Round Table Dana C. Ernst Northern Arizona University February 26, 2019
  2. Setting the Stage What are the goals of a university

    education? What are the goals of a university education? What are the goals of a university education? 1
  3. Setting the Stage How does a person learn something new?

    How does a person learn something new? How does a person learn something new? 2
  4. Setting the Stage What do you reasonably expect to your

    students to remember from your courses in 20 years? What do you reasonably expect to your students to remember from your courses in 20 years? What do you reasonably expect to your students to remember from your courses in 20 years? 3
  5. Who are we? Some Data • 4 million high school

    freshmen in US. • 1.8 million bachelors degrees annually. • Less than 1% of BA/BS are in math. • Roughly 900 US citizens earn a PhD in math each year. Conclusion? We are peculiar! We are peculiar! We are peculiar! 4
  6. What about our students? What Students Often Believe • It

    only takes a few minutes to do all math problems • Only geniuses can understand math • Math is about memorization • If I go slow, then I’m dumb • If I get stuck, then I’m dumb • Faster is smarter • The teacher is the authority • Math is not a creative subject • It’s about answer getting 5
  7. Deep Practice Take 45 seconds to look over the following

    list of pairs of words, but do not write anything down. bread/b tter ocean/breeze leaf/tree music/l rics sweet/sour sh e/sock phone/bo k movie/actress chi s/salsa gasoline/engine high school/college pen il/paper river/b at turkey/stuffing fruit/vegetable be r/wine computer/chip television/rad o l nch/dinner chair/couch 6
  8. Deep Practice Directions • Without looking at the list of

    pairs of words, write down as many pairs as you can. You do not need to remember where any missing letters were nor which column/what order a pair was in. • Looking at the table on the next slide count how many pairs are in column A versus column B. 7
  9. Deep Practice A B ocean/breeze bread/b tter leaf/tree music/l rics

    sweet/sour sh e/sock movie/actress phone/bo k gasoline/engine chi s/salsa high school/college pen il/paper turkey/stuffing river/b at fruit/vegetable be r/wine computer/chip television/rad o chair/couch l nch/dinner Table 1: Word list from The Talent Code. 8
  10. Deep Practice According to The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle,

    studies show that on average people remember 3 times as many pairs in column B, the one with missing letters. Maybe a room full of mathematicians will have wildly different results, but … You are peculiar! You are peculiar! The claim is that a microsecond of struggle (cognitive demand) makes all the difference. What does this have to do with teaching? You are peculiar! 9
  11. The Goldilocks Zone Where is struggle the most productive for

    your students? 10
  12. The Big Picture Claims 1. An education must prepare a

    student to ask and explore questions in contexts that do not yet exist. That is, we need individuals capable of tackling problems they have never encountered and to ask questions no one has yet thought of. 2. If we really want students to be independent, inquisitive, & persistent, then we need to provide them with the means to acquire & practice these skills. Lofty Goals 1. Transition students from consumers to producers! 2. Provide opportunity for a transformative experience. 11
  13. What is IBL? The Four Pillars (Laursen & Rasmussen) 1.

    Student engagement in meaningful mathematics, 2. Student collaboration for sense-making, 3. Instructor inquiry into student thinking, 4. Equitable instructional practice to include all in rigorous mathematical learning and mathematical identity-building. 12
  14. What is IBL? Guiding Principles Students should as much as

    possible be responsible for: 1. Guiding the acquisition of knowledge, 2. Validating the ideas presented (instructor not sole authority). Common Vehicles to IBL 1. Student presentations. 2. Small group work. This is not an “either-or” choice. Most IBL instructors implement some combination. 13
  15. Teaching is a System 14

  16. Teaching is a System 15

  17. Teaching is a System 16

  18. Teaching is a System 17

  19. What does your system look like? • You need to

    make design decisions about: 1. The tasks students will engage in. 2. How students will engage with those tasks, with each other, and with you. • Your decisions will be influenced by many obstacles & opportunities: • Class size? • Significant content pressure? • Configuration of room? • Who are your students? • Your implementation may vary from course to course. 18
  20. Why IBL? The Colorado Study by Sandra Laursen et al.

    300 hours of classroom observation, 1100 surveys, 110 interviews, 220 tests, & 3200 academic transcripts, gathered from > 100 course sections at 4 campuses over 2 years. IBL Interviews SALG Pre/Post Tests Transcripts Gender Observations Non-IBL 19
  21. Why IBL? Laursen et al. 2014 “Despite variation in how

    IBL was implemented, student out- comes are improved in IBL courses relative to traditionally taught courses, as assessed by general measures that apply across course types. Particularly striking, the use of IBL elim- inates a sizable gender gap that disfavors women students in lecture-based courses.” “Despite variation in how IBL was implemented, student out- comes are improved in IBL courses relative to traditionally taught courses, as assessed by general measures that apply across course types. Particularly striking, the use of IBL elim- inates a sizable gender gap that disfavors women students in lecture-based courses.” “Despite variation in how IBL was implemented, student out- comes are improved in IBL courses relative to traditionally taught courses, as assessed by general measures that apply across course types. Particularly striking, the use of IBL elim- inates a sizable gender gap that disfavors women students in lecture-based courses.” 20
  22. Why IBL? Freeman et al. 2014 “The results raise questions

    about the continued use of tradi- tional lecturing as a control in research studies, and support active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teach- ing practice in regular classrooms.” “The results raise questions about the continued use of tradi- tional lecturing as a control in research studies, and support active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teach- ing practice in regular classrooms.” “The results raise questions about the continued use of tradi- tional lecturing as a control in research studies, and support active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teach- ing practice in regular classrooms.” 21
  23. Why IBL? CBMS Statement on Active Learning 2016 “…we call

    on institutions of higher education, mathemat- ics departments and the mathematics faculty, public policy- makers, and funding agencies to invest time and resources to ensure that effective active learning is incorporated into post-secondary mathematics classrooms.” “…we call on institutions of higher education, mathemat- ics departments and the mathematics faculty, public policy- makers, and funding agencies to invest time and resources to ensure that effective active learning is incorporated into post-secondary mathematics classrooms.” “…we call on institutions of higher education, mathemat- ics departments and the mathematics faculty, public policy- makers, and funding agencies to invest time and resources to ensure that effective active learning is incorporated into post-secondary mathematics classrooms.” 22
  24. Why IBL? Manifesto of the MAA Instructional Practices Guide “We

    must gather the courage to advocate beyond our own classroom for student-centered instructional strategies that promote equitable access to mathematics for all students. We stand at a crossroads, and we must choose the path of trans- formation in order to fulfill our professional responsibility to our students.” “We must gather the courage to advocate beyond our own classroom for student-centered instructional strategies that promote equitable access to mathematics for all students. We stand at a crossroads, and we must choose the path of trans- formation in order to fulfill our professional responsibility to our students.” “We must gather the courage to advocate beyond our own classroom for student-centered instructional strategies that promote equitable access to mathematics for all students. We stand at a crossroads, and we must choose the path of trans- formation in order to fulfill our professional responsibility to our students.” 23
  25. Why IBL? Comment on student evaluations “Try. Fail. Understand. Win.”

    “Try. Fail. Understand. Win.” “Try. Fail. Understand. Win.” 24
  26. One of many possible versions of IBL • Students responsible

    for digesting most new material out of class by working on a sequence of problems. • Each batch of problems are meant to do some subset of the following: • Introduce a new topic • Develop intuition about a concept • Synthesize ideas from a few concepts • Prove a theorem • Get practice doing routine or non-routine problems • Nearly all class time devoted to students presenting proposed solutions/proofs. 25
  27. One of many possible versions of IBL • Presentations typically

    take one of 3 forms. 1. An individual presenting their proposed solution to whole class. 2. An individual presenting their proposed solution to a small group. 3. An individual acts as a spokesperson for his/her small group & presents the group’s proposed solution to whole class. • Instructor’s role: guide discussion & nudge students to ask the right questions. 26
  28. One of many possible versions of IBL 27

  29. One of many possible versions of IBL 28

  30. One of many possible versions of IBL 29

  31. One of many possible versions of IBL 30

  32. One of many possible versions of IBL 31

  33. One of many possible versions of IBL 32

  34. One of many possible versions of IBL 33

  35. Personal Reflections • In an IBL class there are lots

    of issues that bubble to the surface that we blissfully ignore when lecturing. Feature not a bug! • When we have access to student thinking we can build on and extend their understanding. • Student presentations are meant to drive classroom discussion, not to prove to you that Sally knows how to do Exercise 15. • The perfect presentation is one that is interestingly wrong. “You will become clever through your mistakes.” — German proverb “You will become clever through your mistakes.” — German proverb • One reason IBL works: Mode of engagement is different when listening to expert vs novice. “Student as skeptic.” “You will become clever through your mistakes.” — German proverb 34
  36. Personal Reflections • Clearly communicating your expectations, as well as

    what the students can expect from you, is vital. • Having a Student Buy-In Plan is key. • With the right set of materials, content coverage is not really an issue. Pace accelerates. • Keeping my mouth shut…and assessing • If I spend 50 minutes talking, it’s unlikely I’ve done any assessment. • In an IBL course, nearly whole class session is spent on assessment. • Students presenting, discussing, & collaborating provides everyone with immediate feedback about how things are going. 35
  37. Questions to Ponder • How do you create a safe

    environment where risk taking is encouraged and productive failure is valued? • What constraints do you have on physical space? • How much scaffolding will you provide on problems? • Will you utilize group work? How will you choose groups? How large will the groups be? • Will you utilize student presentations? How will you choose presenters? How will you assess presenters? • Are students expected to generate proofs of theorems? Will proofs be assessed on exams? • What’s your plan for obtaining student buy-in? 36
  38. Closing Remarks Important! • IBL is a big tent. •

    IBL is doable. • IBL is fun. • IBL isn’t all or nothing. You can make incremental changes. • IBL assumes a growth mindset. • IBL fosters a growth mindset. • IBL can be transformative. “We’re in the business of changing lives.” — Michael Starbird “We’re in the business of changing lives.” — Michael Starbird “We’re in the business of changing lives.” — Michael Starbird 37
  39. The Goldilocks Zone Where is struggle the most productive for

    your students? 38
  40. Teaching is a System 39

  41. IBL Resources • The Academy of Inquiry-Based Learning (AIBL) •

    Summer IBL Workshops Registration is now open! Registration is now open! • June 18–21, 2019: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, cohosted with MAA NCS • June 25–28, 2019: Portland Paramount, Portland, Oregon • July 9–12, 2019: Staybridge Suites, Los Angeles, California • Mentoring via AIBL • Journal of Inquiry-Based Learning in Mathematics (JIBLM) • IBL SIGMAA • Mathematics Learning by Inquiry • MAA Instructional Practices Guide Registration is now open! 40