TLL's blog

Teaching & Learning - Learning by Teaching

By Janet Rankin, Sr. Associate Director for Teaching Initiatives

I am teaching 5.95J (Teaching College-Level Science and Engineering ) this semester - and have recently been giving my students feedback on their "Planning a Lecture" assignment.

After reading several assignments wherein students had listed the topics that they were planning to address in a particular class or course - and telling each of them that they could better support student learning if they developed a structure or schematic that linked the concepts together - i realized that i should be examining my own course for ways to graphically depict the connections among the topics that we discuss. This was one of my "learning-by-teaching" moments of the semester.

Luckily for me and the students in 5.95J - a grand unifying structure was at my fingertips - in the Constructive Alignment work of John Biggs. We already discuss Biggs work in the course, and use it to motivate the classes on Learning Outcomes, Active Learning, and Grading - so it is a natural and logical extension to use it to organize the other classes as well.