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March 2017

News & Updates

Thank You!

The PLC Team would like to express our thanks to each of our partner universities in Africa.  Two PLC team members had the privilege of visiting each university, observing coursework, and working with faculty members towards improved teaching and learning and integration of e-modules and PBEA materials.  The PLC team is looking forward to hosting the Teaching and Learning Symposium at Iowa State University this summer.  

Teaching and Learning Symposium

for members of our PBEA-PLC Team 

As part of the funding to develop a Professional Learning Community, Iowa State University will be hosting a Teaching and Learning Symposium.  
The goals of the Symposium are to:
  • improve use of the PBEA E-Learning Modules and the ALAs through in-depth use of the materials and
  • improve your classroom learning & teaching strategies. 
This symposium will directly immerse you in preparing for your next academic year.   Included in the symposium are field trips, demonstrations, and lots of hands-on, minds-on work.  Possible topics include integration of e-modules and PBEA material, creating lesson plans, delivering effective lectures, and learner-centered teaching methods. 

Where:  Iowa State University, Ames Iowa

When:  July 31 to August 4, 2017

How:  Funding is available for three faculty to attend from each of our partner institutions. This includes airfare, transportation, and meals & lodging while in Ames.  Other faculty may attend at their own expense.   

You Wanted to Know...

In this TED Talk Sal Khan discusses how to teach students for mastery and not for test scores.  How can you engage your students to ensure they are mastering the concept they need to become successful plant breeders?

The First 5 Minutes

How do you grab the attention of your students in the first five minutes of class?

The busy minds of students are working at lightening speed, and it is likely that they are thinking about much more than the class you are teaching.  They may be thinking about their family, what they will eat for lunch, and even their weekend plans.  For this reason it is important that we as teachers deliberately capture the attention of students and focus them on the topic within the first five minute of class.  In the Chronicle of Higher Education, James Lang outlines the following four methods to capture student's attention and focus it in on the content that will be covered.

1.  Open with a question or two.
2.  Review the previous session.
3.  Reactivate the knowledge gained in previous courses.
4.  Ask students to write their responses to the above questions.

For more information on each of these methods visit Lang's article in the Chronicle of Higher Education at:

Contact the PBEA-PLC Team

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