Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Pedagogical Tools for Teaching Exploration
Terry Reilly

Last modified: 10-06-2015


A common problem faced in post-secondary education is how do we move our students past being satisfied with the first answer they find and to a more thoughtful, more complete, and more nuanced solution? Once our students have ‘solved’ a case problem, they believe there is nothing more to do. Students, especially freshmen and sophomores, are not accustomed to exploring the case situation for additional insights beyond the first solution. This paper presents two pedagogical tools that have dramatically improved my students’ performance in using the methods presented in the classroom. These tools have helped my students understand how to go beyond the first solution and explore the situation from more than their own perspective and thereby gain valuable insights into the situation. The first tool is a two-step grading procedure, in which I grade both a rough draft and a final draft. Instead of the grading being a punitive exercise, it has become a way to guide and further educate my students. The second tool is specifically designed in-class demonstrations that highlight the improvements that result when exploring beyond the first solution.


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