6.090 Class Mechanics
Infrastructure
* classroom
- blackboard / whiteboard
- projector
- network (wireless or _very_ convenient drops)
- enough space for instructors to reach every student
* lab (for out-of-class help; can be classroom)
- network (same as above)
* hardware
- a laptop for every student with:
+ MITScheme
+ Web browser
+ Java JRE
+ net access (wireless or wired)
+ students on honor system to pay attention during class
(not be playing games / IMing)
* web site
- post announcements & homeworks
- requires Java installed on webserver serving clicker
People
* Instructor
- runs class
- delivers most of lectures
- designs and posts homeworks
- authors quiz
* Assistants
- answer questions during class
- hold lab hours
- help grade assignments and quiz
- lecture when they feel inspired
Attempt to maintain at least a 1:10 instructor/assistant to student
ratio (hopefully better).
Class Model
* Handle logistics (1-2min)
* Review previous class (5min)
- lectures or homework problems from previous night
* Use clicker to ask general comprehension and pace questions, along
with whatever statistics are interesting / entertaining
- hours of sleep queries?
(
* introduce material
- guided discovery style
+ present situation
+ ask leading questions to expose desired element
+ solicit possible solutions
+ arrive at a correct resolution (not necessarily yours)
- emphasis equally on HOW to arrive at the answer as what the
answer actually is.
- For right answers:
+ Ask why the answer is correct
+ Ask how the student arrived at the answer
+ Do a test case / thought experiment to verify answer
- For wrong answers:
+ find the right bits in the wrong answer (approach/reasoning)
* tell the student what they did right
+ bring out a test case / thought experiment to verify the answer
given
* when it fails, it often indicates HOW the answer is wrong
- Draw pictures / use props / simulate situations
+ make problem solving as concrete as possible
- Law of Unintended Consequences:
Students will learn a pattern from what you show them, not
what you want them to learn
+ thus be _precise_ about your examples; not mostly correct, all
the way correct.
* solve problems
- provide time for students to work problems that cover the new
material
- instructor and assistants wander around unsticking students who
get stuck
- provide more problems than the average student will get through,
the advanced students will appreciate them during class and the
slower students will appreciate them when they are studying for
the quiz.
- give students enough time to get into problem solving mode (10+
minutes)
+ lecture / problem solving time should minimally be 1:1+
) for each topic to cover
* conclude by handing out index cards and asking for:
- something the student understands
- something the student doesn't understand