August 2017

News & Updates

Thank you for attending the symposium!  We hope everyone had a safe journey home.  We know that many of you are embarking on a new academic year of teaching and we hope you use many of the processes and tools introduced at the 2017 PBEA-PLC Symposium.
From the evaluations many of you plan to :
  • Use KaHoot, Minute Papers, Press Conferences and Think Pair-Shares to assess students understanding.
  • Break up your lectures to include more student interaction and practice with the material you want them to learn.
  • Develop lesson plans that include: Objectives, Teaching/Learning Activities, Evidence, Interest approach and Supporting materials/information
  • Create good objectives using the ABCD model : Audience, Behavior (what students will be able to do by the end of the lesson), Condition (the resources needed) & Degree (Acceptable level of performance).
  • Construct good questions using Bloom's Taxonomy to assess students recall, understanding, application, analysis and synthesis of the content.
  • Develop tools to assess student learning.
Remember to set aside time to work on your lesson plans that include learner-centered practices.  Share this information with your colleagues who did not attend by showing them the PBEA-PLC website and downloading the Flash Drive contents.  If you need further assistance don't be afraid to ask for help.  

We are here for you:
Dr. Judy Levings
Dr. Greg Miller-
Dr. Michael Retallick
Miranda Morris


You Wanted to Know...

Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future
Take a look a this great video from teacher Joe Ruhl. In the video, he highlights the implementation of the 5 "C"s, which he believes to be integral to a successful and engaged classroom. What are your thoughts? Do you see any tools that might be implemented in your classroom? Let us know!

Breaking Up Lectures II

During the Teaching & Learning Symposium we presented and you applied a number of ways to break-up lectures.  These included Think-Write Pair Shares, Minute Papers, Press Conferences and Evaluations.  

Here are three new techniques to use in your lesson planning.   For more info on how to Break-Up Lectures go to

Directed Paraphrasing: 
 Have students  paraphrase part of the lecture for a specific audience (and a specific purpose- i.e. how would you share this lecture concept to plant breeding industry employees, how would you explain it to a friend or relative, etc.)  Why do this?  This exercise asks students to do a complicated task- sharing with others about complex material in a simple way.  This helps build neural connections and checks their own understanding.

Truth Statements: Either to introduce a topic or check comprehension, ask individuals to list out “It is true that...” statements on the topic being discussed. The ensuing discussion might illustrate how ambiguous knowledge is sometimes.  Why do this?  If you do this before you start the lecture, you may discover what they already know about the topic or what they don’t understand.  This also may help with motivating them to seek out why the statement is true or false from the material you share. 

Note Clarification: Interrupt your 50 minute lecture three times with 2 minute breaks during which students work in pairs to clarify their notes.  Why do this?  Ruhl et al (1987) demonstrated that short-term recall and long-term retention of the material presented in class improved when faculty asked students to do something with the material just presented.  It is believed that attention wanes after 15-20 minutes and this exercise can assist with lecture listening fatigue.


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