Strategies for Creating Effective Learning Communities in the Classroom

By on January 25, 2017

Strategies for Creating Effective Learning Communities in the Classroom

Leader: Shafaq Amdani Moten, Ph.D. candidate in Physics (

Description: Engaging the students from diverse backgrounds in large classrooms to foster better understanding of the material. Large classrooms feel impersonal and it may disengage a significant proportion students. People of all different backgrounds and interests are in the same environment and with the same goal – doing the best that they can.

Location and Times: Twice a month. Wednesday afternoon at 2 pm in Science Hall Room 105.

1st Meeting: 2/8/17 – Intro to CIRTL and Issues facing Instructors in classrooms.

   CIRTL.  Issues facing classrooms today and addressing them.  How to get help if needed .Cirtl_1 (2)

2nd Meeting: 2/15/17 – Guest Speaker, Dr. Ramon Lopez – Professor, Dept. of Physics, and Co-Director, UTeach Arlington.

    Talked about “flipped classrooms” – lecture before classroom (online usually) and spend class time in problem-solving and discussions.  Best way is to combine flipped, peer instruction and active techniques.  Current Research Project and being a part of the Institutional research board (IRB). 

Teaching Advice: 1. Get experience – TA labs or TA with UTeach Method (program for teaching High School Students). 3. Combine different aptitudes in class (to not lose students – utilize active methods).   Recommended

Literature: Effective Teaching Methods for Large Classes by J.M. Carpenter (Univ. of S. Carolina)  Jour. of family $ consumer Sciences Education. Vol 24. No.2 Fall/Winter 2006

3rd Meeting: 3/8/17 – How to Engage the student’s in classroom with effective teaching philosophy

   Discussed effective method of engaging students one-on-one in the classroom.  Large class (break in 5-6 groups) and small class – verbal discussion with instructor frequently throughout the semester.   Making a positive first impression about the instructor, subject and classroom.  A look at Previous literature and CIRTL website (local and Main).

Discussed Teaching philosophy statements and how to make effective statements and apply above discussed ideas in the philosophy statement. Analysed 3 different teaching philosophy statements and discussed the merits of materials and methodology.

4th Meeting: 3/22/17 – Debate- Time Management of demonstration vs. lecture.  – Lab vs. Classroom demonstrations.

5th Meeting: 4/5/17 – Individual Projects- benefits and ideas

6th Meeting: 4/19/17 – Teaching as Research (TAR); Updates on Implementations of strategies utilized