Search Results For "inquiry-based learning talk"

On Thursday, August 22, I was one of four speakers that gave a 20 minute talk during the Department of Mathematics and Statistics Teaching Showcase at Northern Arizona University. My talk was titled “An Introduction to Inquiry-Based Learning” and was intended to be a “high altitude” view of IBL and to inspire dialogue. I was impressed with the turn out. I think there were roughly 40 people in attendance, from graduate students to tenured faculty and even some administrators. Here are the slides for my talk.

If you take a look at the slides, you’ll see that I mention some recent research about the effectiveness of IBL by Sandra Laursen, et. al. During my talk, I provided a two-page summary of this research, which you can grab here (PDF).

After about 15 minutes, I transitioned into an exercise whose purpose was to get the audience thinking about appropriate ways to engage in dialogue with students in an IBL class. I provided the participants with the handout located here that contains a dialogue between three students that are working together on exploring the notions of convergence and divergence of series. After the dialogue, five possible responses for the instructor are provided. I invited the participants to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each possible response. It is clear that some responses are better than others, but all of the responses listed intentionally have some weaknesses. We were able to spend a couple of minutes having audience members share their thoughts. It would have been better to spend more time on this exercise. I wish I could take credit for the exercise, but I borrowed it from the folks over at Discovering the Art of Mathematics.

If you want to know more about IBL, check out my What the Heck is IBL? blog post over on Math Ed Matters.

Yesterday, I was part of a panel discussion about inquiry-based learning (IBL) at the Fall 2012 Indiana MAA Section Meeting. The other panelists included Robert Talbert (Grand Valley State University) and Mindi Capaldi (Valparaiso University). The panel was organized by the Indiana Section NExT, which is the Indiana version of the national Project NExT. Here is the abstract for the session:

We will discuss inquiry based learning, inverted classroom models, peer instruction, and other alternatives to lecture-based instruction. Panelists will give a brief intro of their experience in these areas, followed by an extended time of Q&A with the audience. This panel is open to all meeting participants.

You might be wondering how I ended up at the Indiana MAA Section Meeting. One of my Project NExT fellows, Lara Pudwell (Valparaiso University), sent me a message several weeks ago asking if I knew anyone near Indiana that would be interested in speaking on a panel about inquiry-based learning. I told her that I wasn’t anywhere near Indiana, but that I would love to be a part of the panel. Since I’m not swimming in travel money, I contacted Stan Yoshinobu (Cal Poly and Director of the Academy of Inquiry Based Learning) to see if the Visiting Speakers Bureau might be able to pay my way. Thankfully, my request for travel funding was approved. Woot! I’d like to thank AIBL and the Educational Advancement Foundation for funding these sorts of things.

The panel discussion was well-attended and it seemed to go very well. Each of the three panelist spoke for about 5-10 minutes and then the floor was opened to questions. The questions (during the session and later at lunch) covered a variety of topics, but as expected, people were interested in how to implement IBL in large classes and/or courses where coverage of a significant amount of content is a requirement. In my opinion, these are two of the biggest obstacles to adopting all sorts of effective and progressive teaching approaches. The obstacles are not insurmountable, but modifications (and compromises) of how I might run my upper-level proof-based classes must be made. I’ll try to write a post that addresses some potential strategies for dealing with large classes and the coverage issue.

Here are the slides for my portion of the panel discussion.

On Tuesday, October 16, Amy Rushall and I co-facilitated a Faculty Development Workshop at Northern Arizona University. The title of our workshop was “Designing Inquiry-Based Learning Experiences.” Here is the abstract for our session.

What is inquiry-based learning (IBL)? Why use IBL? How can you incorporate more IBL into the classes that you teach? In this talk, we will address all of these questions, as well as discuss a few different examples of what an IBL classroom might look like in practice.

The participants in the workshop, which included a cohort of visiting Chinese scholars, represented a wide variety of disciplines including math, chemistry, computer science, hotel and restaurant management, business, and more.

The purpose of my portion of the workshop was to introduce inquiry-based learning (IBL) in general terms and provide motivation for why teachers should consider implementing IBL in their classrooms. Below are my slides for the workshop.

Note: These slides are essentially a subset of slides for similar talks that I’ve given recently. In particular, see this blog post and this one.

Amy’s part of the workshop addressed more specific ways in which one might apply IBL techniques.

On Friday, I gave a talk titled “Inquiry-Based Learning: What, Why, and How?” at the ArizMATYC conference, which took place at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ. ArizMATYC is the Arizona chapter of the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC). I gave a nearly identical talk (with the same title) at the Mathematics Instructional Colloquium at the University of Arizona on October 2, 2012. Unlike last time, I did not get that many questions during my talk. It seemed well-received nonetheless. Here’s the abstract for the talk:

What is inquiry-based learning (IBL)? Why use IBL? How can you incorporate more IBL into the classes that you teach? In this talk, we will address all of these questions, as well as discuss a few different examples of what an IBL classroom might look like in practice.

And here are the slides.

Tomorrow, I will be co-facilitating a Faculty Development Workshop here at Northern Arizona University with Amy Rushall about implementing IBL. My portion of the workshop will include content from the slides above.

Prior to this summer’s MathFest in Portland, I was a co-facilitator for a four-day workshop on inquiry-based learning. My co-facilitators were Stan Yoshinobu (Cal Poly, SLO), Matt Jones (CSU Dominguez Hills), and Angie Hodge (University of Nebraska at Omaha). I love being a part of these workshops. Even though I’m there to help others get started on implementing IBL, I benefit tremendously from the experience and always leave feeling energized and fired up to teach. If you are an aspiring practitioner or a newish user of IBL, I highly encourage you to look into attending a future IBL Workshop, which is run as an MAA PREP workshop.

On day three of the workshop, I gave a 30-minute plenary talk. Most of the sessions are designed to be highly interactive and this was one of the few times that we “talked at” the participants. At the end of day two, I had given the participants a choice of topics for the plenary and the request was to describe the general overview of my approach to IBL in proof-based classes versus a class like calculus. So, that’s what I set out to do. The slides I used for my talk can be found below.

I’d like to think that my talk was more than the content of the slides, however, the slides ought be useful on their own for someone that is curious about IBL. This talk was similar to others about IBL that I’ve given in the past.

On Friday, June 14 I gave a 15 minute talk in one of the parallel session at the Legacy of R.L. Moore Conference in Austin, TX. The Legacy Conference is the inquiry-based learning (IBL) conference. In fact, it’s the only conference that is completely devoted to the discussion and dissemination of IBL. It’s also my favorite conference of the year. It’s amazing to be around so many people who are passionate about student-centered learning.
This was my fourth time attending the conference and I plan on attending for years to come.

Here is the abstract for the talk that I gave.

In this talk, the speaker will relay his approach to inquiry-based learning (IBL) in an introduction to proof course. In particular, we will discuss various nuts and bolts aspects of the course including general structure, content, theorem sequence, marketing to students, grading/assessment, and student presentations. Despite the theme being centered around an introduction to proof course, this talk will be relevant to any proof-based course.

The target audience was new IBL users. I often get questions about the nuts and bolts of running an IBL class and my talk was intended to address some of the concerns that new users have. I could talk for days and days about this, but being limited to 15 minutes meant that I could only provide the “movie trailer” version.

Below are the slides from my talk.

One of my goals was to get people thinking about the structure they need to put in place for their own classes. When I wrote my slides, I had a feeling that I couldn’t get through everything. I ended up skipping the slide on marketing, but in hindsight, I wish I would have skipped something else instead. Two necessary components of a successful IBL class are student buy-in and having a safe environment where students are willing to take risks. Both of these require good marketing and I never had a chance to make this point. Maybe next year, I will just give a talk about marketing IBL to students.

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On Saturday, May 5, 2013, I was joined by TJ Hitchman (University of Northern Iowa) for the Michigan Project NExT Panel Discussion on Teaching Strategies for Improving Student Learning, which was part of the 2013 Spring MAA Michigan Section Meeting at Lake Superior State University. The title of the session was “Teaching Strategies for Improving Student Learning” and was organized by Robert Talbert (Grand Valley State University). The dynamic looking guy in the photo above is TJ.

Here is the abstract for the session.

Are you interested in helping your students learn mathematics more effectively? Are you thinking about branching out in the way you teach your courses? If so, you should attend this panel discussion featuring short talks from leaders in higher education in employing innovative and effective instructional strategies in their mathematics classes. After speaking, our panelists will lead breakout discussions in small groups to answer questions and share advice about effective instructional strategies for college mathematics. Panelists will include Dana Ernst (Northern Arizona University) and Theron Hitchman (University of Northern Iowa), both noted for their effective use of the flipped classroom and inquiry-based learning.

Sweet, I guess running my mouth often enough about inquiry-based learning (IBL) gets me “noted.”

Each of TJ and I took about 10-15 minutes to discuss our respective topics and then we took the remaining time to chat and brainstorm as a group. The focus of my portion of the panel was on “Inquiry-Based Learning: What, Why, and How?” My talk was a variation on several similar talks that I’ve given over the past year. For TJ’s portion, he discussed his Big “Unteaching” Experiment that he implemented in his Spring 2013 differential geometry course.

Here are the slides for my portion of the panel.

Despite low attendance at the panel, I think it went well. Thanks to Robert for inviting TJ and me!

Several weeks ago I was asked to take part in the Project NExT Alternative Assessment Techniques panel discussion at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, which recently took place in San Diego, CA. I was extremely honored to be considered for the panel, but at the time I was not planning on attending the JMM, so I declined the invitation. A couple weeks later, it turned out that I was going to make it to the JMM after all. At about 11PM the night before I was going to fly to San Diego, I received an email from the organizers of the panel discussion indicating that one of the panelists was unable to make it and that they heard was going to be there. They asked if I could fill in at the last minute and I accepted.

Here is the abstract for the panel.

Since classroom assessment is used to determine a student’s level of mastery, how can we vary our methods of assessment to accurately reflect the diversity of ways that students learn and understand the material? Traditional methods of assessment, such as exams, quizzes, and homework, may not accurately and robustly measure some students’ understanding. In this panel, we will propose alternative methods and discuss the following questions:
– What assessments exist besides the traditional ones and how can I use them for my course?
– How can I determine the validity of an alternative assessment?
– How can I develop my own alternative assessments?
– How can alternative assessments help me evaluate the effectiveness of a non-traditional classroom?

It is worth pointing out that I’m not an assessment expert by any stretch of the imagination. Also, given that I had less than 48 hours to prepare amidst a pretty full schedule, I didn’t have a lot of time to come up with something new and creative for my talk. Inquiry-based learning (IBL) is one of my passions and I’ve given quite a few IBL-related talks in the past few months, so I decided to “twist” the ideas from some of my recent talks into a talk about assessment. In my talk, I propose implementing IBL not only as a pedagogical approach but also as an assessment strategy. This isn’t really a stretch since in my view, an effective IBL class is all assessment, all the time.

My fellow panelists included Theron Hitchman (University of Northern Iowa), Bonnie Gold (Monmouth University), and Victor Odafe (Bowling Green State University). Theron gave a talk on using Standards Based Assessment (you can find his slides here), Bonnie spoke on a variety of summative assessment techniques, and Victor shared his experience with oral assessment. It turns out that the person that I was filling for is mathematics education superstar Jo Boaler. Me filling in for her is ridiculous.

Here are the slides for my portion of the panel.

Thanks to the organizers of the panel (Cassie Williams (James Madison University), Jane Butterfield (University of Minnesota), John Peter (Utica College), and Robert Campbell (College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University)) for providing me with the opportunity to speak on the panel.

Yesterday, I gave a talk titled “Inquiry Based Learning: What, Why, and How?” at the University of Arizona Mathematics Instructional Colloquium. There weren’t too many people in attendance (about a dozen), but the talk seemed to be very well-received. Here’s the abstract for the talk:

What is inquiry-based learning (IBL)? Why use IBL? How can you incorporate more IBL into the classes that you teach? In this talk, we will address all of these questions, as well as discuss a few different examples of what an IBL classroom might look like in practice.

And here are the slides.

I knew that I wouldn’t get through all of the material, but I had enough prepared so that I could take the talk where the audience wanted to go. Surprisingly, I was able to discuss the content on all but the last two slides. I plan to give a similar talk at the 2012 ArizMATYC conference, which takes place at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ.

Prior to yesterday’s talk, I was able to squeeze in a bike ride up Mount Lemmon.


February 16, 2012

Type B Temperley--Lieb diagram

Below is list of talks and presentations that I have given over the past several years.  In most cases, there are links to slides.  In particular, you can find the collection of my recent slides on Speaker Deck. Check out my scholarship overview page for additional information about my research interests. If you are interested in presentations that my undergraduate research students have given, check out my undergraduate research page.