I took this course in the Spring of 2009 with Professor Barbara Crawford.


This seminar is designed for all doctoral and masters level students in education, sciences, math, and possibly other disciplines, including those people interested in extension/outreach. The course should be useful and thought provoking for all people who are interested in learning about innovative ways to teach science, mathematics, and other disciplines. Readings will focus on research related to this kind of teaching, including issues of gender and underrepresented populations in science and math and engineering. The course will combine research with practice. Although many of the examples will be from science learning and teaching, the course should be of value to people from a wide variety of disciplines who are interested in reformed-based ways to teach at all levels of education (public school, college, extension, and informal). The course will center on how to design effective learning environments that actively involve students in thinking about the subject matter, and in learning about the nature of science or other disciplines. The course will address a variety of instructional approaches, including problem-based, collaborative learning, model-based, community-based, and the use of authentic contexts. Examples will be grounded in practice. Benefits of using inquiry-based teaching approaches, as well as challenges and pitfalls, will be addressed. Students will have a real opportunity to apply their knowledge by designing inquiry-based instruction, and critique inquiry-based instruction and assessments in their own field.
— Course Syllabus


As part of the class, I had to give a 20-minute segment of a full hour lecture. It needed to incorporate the concepts we learned regarding inquiry-based learning. I wrote a lesson plan (those things are devilishly hard to write), and developed some PowerPoint slides with animations.

The topic of my lecture was Sorting Algorithms, so the PowerPoint slides have animations showing how the sorting algorithms work. There was some discussion in the class about the utility and effectiveness of PowerPoint and other such animation techniques as well, so this was another way of incorporating class concepts into my mock lesson.