Thursday, May 01, 2008

3491 questions about Biology

One innovation this year was intended to build students' abilities to ask questions. Before each week's lectures the students had to complete a brief multiple-choice reading quiz (usually about 5 questions) based on the assigned readings for the week.  This year the last question on each quiz (worth 1 point, like the others) asked
Please give one question about this week's material that you would like to have answered in class.

To earn the point your question must be stated as a question in correct English (e.g. "How do birds fly?", not "how birds fly" or "I want to know how birds fly.").
The writing was initially bad, but both the writing and the quality of the questions quickly got much better, and I started posting each week's questions on the course web site for students to read, and using some of them in class.

Now I've assembled all of the questions, unedited, into a single Word file titled "3491 questions about Biology", which I'm going to email to the other instructors teaching this course. I'll also post it on my own web site; here's a link.

1 comment:

Mind the step said...

That's a superb idea! Do you also use the WebCT forum for the course as a place where students can pose each other questions about difficult concepts? I found that in MEDG419 we used this quite a bit to learn as a group.