Scientific teaching—Using Classroom Data to Improve Learning and Teaching
A presentation by Dr. Eric Mazur, Harvard University
Thursday, February 28, 10-11:30 a.m.
SAC Ballroom South
The School of Undergraduate Studies, with support from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Center for Teaching and Learning, presents Eric Mazur, Ph.D., of Harvard University. Dr. Mazur will speak about a new interactive website, Making Decisions with Data, developed by a team in Undergraduate Studies in collaboration with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Making Decisions with Data is a resource to help education professionals understand and use data to improve their own teaching and, by extension, the learning of their students. The site will launch Friday, March 1.
Thanks to the Center for Teaching & Learning for recording & producing Dr. Mazur’s talk.
Making Decisions with Data is designed to help educators learn about and implement data-based decision making in their professional environments. The material is useful to a range of educators, including teachers and administrators at the K-12 and post-secondary levels. Please check back for site URL.
Educators explore the data-driven decision-making process over the course of five modules: Asking Questions, Finding Existing Data, Collecting New Data, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, and Putting Data to Use. The modules help educators achieve specific learning objectives by guiding them through a sequential progression of knowledge and skills. After completing all workbook activities, educators should have a useful outline of how to investigate particular issues or concerns in specific educational environments. Each module contains:
Discussions of teaching—even some publications—abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn’t work. Yet research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk, Dr. Mazur will discuss how he uses classroom data to make decisions about how he teaches and to change how his students learn.
Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and area dean of applied physics. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Department of Physics at Harvard University.
In addition to his work in optical physics, Dr. Mazur is interested in education, science policy, outreach, and the public perception of science. He believes that better science education for all—not just science majors—is vital for continued scientific progress. To this end, Dr. Mazur devotes part of his research group’s effort to education research and finding verifiable ways to improve science education. In 1990, he began developing Peer Instruction, a method for teaching large lecture classes interactively. Dr. Mazur’s teaching method has developed a large following, both nationally and internationally, and has been adopted across many disciplines, all over the world. Dr. Mazur is also a founder of Learning Catalytics, a cloud-based technology that enables instructors to engage students with authentic formative assessments in real time and rich data analytics to drive student interactions.