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June/July 2017

News & Updates

 Plant Breeding Teaching & Learning Symposium
July 31-August 4 on the ISU campus
Are you ready?  Faculty from each of the PBEA African partner Universities will be attending this event, as well as representatives from ISU Agronomy Department., RuFORUM, AGRA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 
The primary goal of the Symposium is to help faculty improve the use of PBEA E-Learning Modules in their classrooms and to improve classroom learning-centered teaching techniques.  The tentative Agenda be downloaded here. Faculty will be engaged in our learn by doing philosophy by creating a lesson plan that corresponds to a PBEA E-learning module that they can use in their teaching this next academic year.  The lesson plan will include use of one of the many learner-centered techniques that will be shared during the symposium. 

So bring your laptop and/or class files to draw upon. Symposium details will be mailed out soon.

Creating Good Questions

All professors ask questions in their classrooms, but do they ask questions that will help to improve student learning?  Studies indicate that the question type matters.  Professors who include a mix of lower order and higher order questions can assess student learning, help students see a concept from a broader perspective and understand and help to develop critical thinking skills. Constructing good questions comes with practice- some times it bombs, yet when it works you'll know that your good practice paid off.  To learn more about how to construct and ask good questions check out this resource from the Teaching Center at Washington University. For those of you attending the PBEA-PLC Teaching Symposium- you will get practice!

You Wanted to Know...

How to Motivate

Alex Diaz speaks to motivating students by starting with the big picture.   This relates to the overall curriculum design.  He questions why do we start with the tiniest details when the big picture is much more motivating to our students. 

Diaz’s talk gives a perspective on why professors may want to invert or flip not only our classrooms, but the entire curriculum.  In the past, instructors were responsible for developing their own class in a vacuum, today educators are realizing that if we start with the big picture and carry this to our courses and lessons students will not only be more motivated, but better prepared because they will be learning the right things. 

Contact the PBEA-PLC Team

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