Poster B138, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Teaching cognitive neuroscience: Transformation from large lecture class to small active learning groups
Brenda Rapp1, Soojin Park1, Jeremy Purcell1, Michael Reese1; 1Johns Hopkins University
Many cognitive neuroscientists face the challenges of teaching large groups of undergraduate students the complex, rich and often difficult concepts of cognitive neuroscience. Another challenge is teaching undergraduates who enter college with extensive experience learning with digital resources and already familiar with a myriad of internet learning resources. We addressed these challenges by transforming a large (200-250 student) introductory cognitive neuroscience, lecture-style course into a hybrid format modeled on the framework developed by Steven Luck (http://psc100y.faculty.ucdavis.edu/). Course design was based on well-established learning principles such as active learning, repeated testing and distributed study. The previously twice weekly, 75-minute lectures were converted to on-line lectures that allowed for individualized viewing. Each on-line lecture was accompanied by an on-line quiz that was time-limited and deadlined. Class meetings consisted of once/week review sessions and once/week active-learning sessions; these were led by five different instructors who taught simultaneously in separate classrooms. Active Learning Sessions were the key added value of the hybrid approach allowing for experiential learning and meaningful interaction with professors. Students worked in teams on activities such as: brain navigation, lesion tracing in the language system, debating the use of CNS methods in the courtroom, building artificial neural networks and making a pitch to NIH. Course evaluation included on-line questionnaires, focus groups, classroom observations, and a comparative analysis of student responses on exam questions used in previous years. All evaluation modalities revealed significant improvement in performance and student satisfaction.
Topic Area: OTHER