Home University Teaching Events, Seminars & Workshops TeachWeek TeachWeek 2016-17 Questioning Why and How We Gather Students Together: Empowering Changes in Curricula and Teaching

Questioning Why and How We Gather Students Together: Empowering Changes in Curricula and Teaching

Have you ever wondered why students need to be together in a classroom to learn? That question has been asked more frequently in the last decade, as we compare online vs. in-person courses, traditional lectures vs. active engagement classes, flipped vs. normal classes, in-class group vs. individual class work, and lecture halls vs. collaborative learning spaces.  

In this session, Prof. John Pollard will discuss how he and colleagues addressed this question at the University of Arizona through the development of a curricular approach in chemistry, Chemical Thinking, that demanded changes in the way they gather students together in class. He will also review the evidence that supports moving away from a single modality lecture approach in the classroom, as well as his own research on understanding how active learning strategies can impact students' metacognition and how classroom space can influence  the behaviors of students and faculty.  

Biography: John Pollard is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona and the co-author of the nationally recognized and innovative Chemical Thinking curriculum and supporting ebook.

Besides his interests in transforming the general chemistry course at the University level, Pollard has expertise in the design and implementation of active engagement pedagogical approaches for small and large classrooms.  He recently spearheaded the Collaborative Learning Space Project at the University of Arizona, where traditional classrooms and library spaces are being transformed into learning environments suited for classes centered on active learning approaches.  His current research interests are centered on understanding how student meta-cognitive patterns and group influences relates to their engagement in the classroom and learning outcomes in his Chemical Thinking course.   

Part of TeachWeek Caltech, a campus-wide celebration of teaching and learning, featuring events and discussions with Caltech faculty and students, as well as distinguished guest presenters. All events are open to the entire Caltech community.

Thanks to the Twenty-Seven Foundation for supporting this TeachWeek panel discussion, as well as sponsoring other events engaging Caltech faculty and students in new perspectives on teaching and learning.

For more information, please email ctlo@caltech.edu.

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