STLHE 2015 has ended
Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.16 - Incorporate effective teaching and learning techniques in large science classrooms to help first year university students transition

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There is a high attrition rate for first year university students in Canada that less than 80% of students would continue to their second year of study; in engineering and science, the attrition rate is even higher (Grayson and Grayson, 2003). Daempfle (2003) suggests the differences in faculty and epistemological expectations between high schools and post-secondary institutions may play an important role in the high attrition rates in science and engineering. Wieman and Perkins (2005) discuss how they transformed physics education by focusing on understanding and appreciation of the subject. McGuire and Hoffman (2009) discuss the teaching and learning strategies they used to teach students how to learn chemistry; in particular, they emphasize the importance of active engagement, being empathy, and empowerment in teaching. While these techniques are known to be effective, how can educators incorporate these methods in large science classes to teach first year students to be competent learners? In this workshop, we will first do a few interactive activities to understand the importance of learning skills including understanding the concept, practicing the problem, and monitoring the understanding. Then, we will look at several real life examples of incorporating these techniques in large science classes. Participants are expected to learn the effective teaching and learning skills that are essential in science, engineering and other disciplines. Further, they will gain knowledge of applying these practices in their teaching to help first year university students transition from high schools. 


Daempfle, P. A. (2003). An Analysis of the High Attrition Rates among First Year College Science, Math, and Engineering Majors. J. College Student Retention, 5(1), 37-52.

Grayson, J. P. & Grayson, K. (2003). Research on Retention and Attrition. Montreal, QC: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

McGuire, S. Y. & Hoffman, R. (2009). Teaching and Learning Strategies that Work. Science, 325, 1203-1204.

Wieman, C. & Perkins, K. (2005). Transforming Physics Education. Physics Today, 58(11), 36-41.


Stephen Cheng

Dr. Stephen Cheng is the Faculty Associate of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Regina.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon ABC

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