Derek Bruff

Author of Teaching with Classroom Response Systems

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Entries for June, 2010

Cognitive Surplus: Teaching in an Age of Abundance

I’m reading Clay Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. Shirky’s central argument is that people now have the means (participatory media via the Internet) to do more with their free time—their “cognitive surplus”—than just sit around and watch TV. They can now use their cognitive surplus to contribute to […]

Active Learning Approaches in Mathematics

A colleague recently asked me for some references on commonly used active learning approaches in teaching mathematics. I located a few useful ones for her, and I thought I’d recycle my email to her here on the blog in case the references are useful to others, as well. Maria Andersen of Muskegon Community College has […]

The Perils of Terminology: Teacher-Centered and Student-Centered Pedagogy

ProfHacker contributor Billie Hara wrote a post titled “Learning-Centered Pedagogy” last week that surfaces some of the dangers of educational jargon, particularly the terms teacher-centered pedagogy and student-centered pedagogy. Those in higher education who advocate student-centered pedagogy are often perceived as bashing teacher-centered pedagogy, which causes problems when the term teacher-center pedagogy isn’t well-defined. Here’s […]

Article: Webking & Valenzuela (2006): Clickers and Critical Thinking in Political Science

Reference: Webking, R., & Valenzuela, F. (2006). Using audience response systems to develop critical thinking. In Banks, David A. (Ed.), Audience Response Systems in Higher Education: Applications and Cases. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing. Summary: Webking and Valenzuela describe ways they use classroom response systems in their political sciences courses at the University of Texas-El […]

Trying Out HootCourse, a Course Communication and Backchannel Tool

I spent some time yesterday playing around with HootCourse, a course communication and backchannel tool. A teacher can set up a course within HootCourse, then invite students to join the course. Students can login to the course using existing Twitter or Facebook accounts. Everyone in the course can post tweets–course announcements, questions for the teacher, […]

Coming Changes in the Industrial Model of Education?

Britt Watwood recently mentioned my “Revolution or Evolution?” presentation in a post discussing Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s 2008 book Groundswell. Britt raises some interesting questions about the possibilities for social media to transform higher education as it has transformed other parts of our culture—from the bottom up, so to speak. Britt asks if this […]

Teaching Math with Clickers: Preservice Teachers, Competitive Students, & Visual Thinking

Continuing my reports from the contributed paper session on teaching with clickers I helped coordinate at the Joint Mathematics Meetings back in January… “Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Perceptions of Clicker Use in their College Mathematics Course,” Travis K. Miller, Millersville University of Pennsylvania [Slides] In my last post, I mentioned that Janet White first used clickers […]

Sixteen Suggestions for Teaching with Clickers

An excerpt from CFT assistant director Derek Bruff’s book, Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments, was published on the Tomorrow’s Professor listserv this week.  In the excerpt, Derek shares sixteen tips for teaching with clickers, including this one:
“7. Have students respond to clicker questions several time throughout a class session. Although […]

Teaching Math with Clickers: I Liked Getting the Wrong Answer Anonymously

Continuing my reports from the contributed paper session on teaching with clickers I helped coordinate at the Joint Mathematics Meetings back in January… “Using Personal Response Systems (Clickers) in Liberal Arts Mathematics Courses to Support a Lecture Format,” Janet A. White, Millersville University of Pennsylvania [Slides] Just like Jean McGivney-Burelle and Kimberly Burch, Janet White […]

New on ProfHacker: Motivating Students with Application Projects and Poster Sessions

I have another guest post on ProfHacker today: “Motivating Students with Application Projects and Poster Sessions.”  Several years ago I started having students in my more “applied” math courses complete application projects, giving them a chance to apply the math they learned in the course to a “real world” problem.  This assignment–and the poster session […]