**Case studies**

1.
Professor
Julian wants his first-year students to be able to theorize about the notions
of law. He gave several lectures about the notions of law, explaining in detail
that there are different perspectives to approach the study of law, such as
positivism, legal anthropology, sociology of law, natural law, etc. Julian
designed a test at the end of the course unit where he asked his students the
following question: Discuss why there are so many perspectives to approach law.
To his surprise, most students explained the different approaches to law, but
did not theorize about why there are different perspectives on law. After
describing the different perspectives, some students simply wrote that they
like some perspectives over the others or that they agree with some but
disagree with the others. This frustrates Julian. He wants to know what went
wrong and what to do so that students will theorize about the different notions
of law at a relational or extended abstract level.

2.
Professor
Chris teaches Sociology of Crime, a second-year course. She is aware of the
importance of constructive alignment. She wants their students to compare and
contrast the different sociological theories on crime. Her course meets on
Tuesdays and Thursdays. She devoted one week for each of the 12 theories she
selected. She lectured on Tuesdays and used small group discussions after every
lecture for students to discuss some aspects of the
selected theory. Then on Thursdays, she gave a problem to students to work in
small groups where they had to apply the theory of that week to solve the
problem. At the end of the term, she gave their students a final exam where the
question was: “Select one of the sociological theories of crime discussed in
the course, think of a problem related to crime in your community, and try to
offer solutions to that problem by applying the selected theory.” She was
shocked to see that most of the students simply explained the theories without
actually applying them to a problem. Was her course aligned? What went wrong?
Why?

3.
Professor
John teaches theories of education for future childhood educators at a two-year
college. He has no control over the course outline. The course outline does not
list learning outcomes. He wants his students to be able to apply, relate,
explain causes, and compare different theories of teaching and learning. He prepared
a series of case studies to use throughout the course. He does not lecture.
Students like the cases, but feel anxious because they do not know if they are
learning. The exam, which is worth 70% of the final grade, is a new case, which
they have to solve. Most of the students do poorly. John is shocked because
student production was much better during the term. What happened? What can
John do to improve student production in the exam?

4.
You
teach a course on teaching and learning for future teachers. One of your main
learning outcomes is that students demonstrate appreciation for deep learning.
What teaching and learning activities can you think so that students will
develop appreciation for the importance of deep learning?

5.
Professor
Claude teaches Spanish 4101. He would like their students to be able to use
critical thinking skills (Level 5 of the Solo Taxonomy) in Spanish when they
discuss about the topics he assigns them. He has always used drills where
students repeat grammatical structures, fill-in-the blank exercises, and verb
conjugation activities. For the final, he asked students to debate about the reasons
why soccer is so popular in Latin America. While students used grammatically
correct sentences, they did not show any signs of critical thinking skills in
their analysis. Claude wants to know what went wrong. What can he do so that
new students taking this course can apply critical thinking skills while
communicating in Spanish?

6.
Professor
Ruth wants their students in her Political Economy I course to develop
analytical skills (Level 4 of the SOLO taxonomy). She gives their students
problems to solve. She lectures occasionally to contextualize the topics and
theories she wants their students to apply, and she organizes debates and role
playing. She constantly gives students bonus points when they do good jobs.
Every time their students grapple with a very important issue, she tells them
that a similar issue will be on the final exam. Her students did relatively
well. Most of her students took Political Economy II in the following term.
Professor Paul teaches Political Economy II. He gave his students some active
student-centered activities similar to those they did with Ruth, but they seemed
to be disengaged. Paul talked to Ruth and she was very surprised. She told Paul
that her students were very motivated with her. What happens? Why aren’t
students engaged? Why don’t they use analytical skills to work in Paul’s class?

7.
Professor
Alex teaches Film Studies. He wants his students to be able to understand
Francis Coppola’s films. He showed The Godfather trilogy, The Conversation, The
Rainmaker, Apocalypse Now, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Rumble Fish. He
introduced each film by anticipating the plot and talking about the context. He
asked their students to write a paper comparing two or more of the films shown
in class. The quality of the papers was very poor. Alex was shocked that some
of the students even downloaded papers from the Internet. Why? What happened?
What can Alex do to do help students produce quality papers?

8.
The
following is a promissory syllabus. What teaching and learning activities can
you design to help realize the promises in this syllabus?

In this course, you will have an opportunity to explore some of the exciting research being done at this university on biological clocks. In the process, you will develop considerable insight into the nature of science and the research lives of scientists. You may or may not become a research scientist, but you may some day have to decide about funding for a research endeavor. This course will help you make those decisions wisely. It will also help you understand more about how your own internal clock and the clocks that exist in every animal work. Why do college students often like to stay up late while their parents are “early to bed and early to rise” people? Why do people suffer from jet lag? How do we find out about how Biological Clocks work? How do scientists draw conclusions? How certain are those conclusions? |

9.
Professor
Viviane teaches first year French. She wants her students to use Level 5 skills
of the SOLO taxonomy in French language. But her students speak limited French
and they complained the first class when she handed out the course syllabus.
She needs help from you. She wants to know if it is possible to expect students
to use Level 5 skills, and if so, how to design teaching and learning
activities that will help her students achieve such a high level of
understanding.

10. Create an expectation failure for students in one of
your courses.

Remember that
an expectation failure is a situation in which existing mental models of
reality will lead to faulty expectations. An expectation failure is usually
created from some sort of intellectual challenge or cognitive dissonance.
Teachers must carefully select mental models or paradigms which students
bring to class that can cause this incongruity. We need to put the learners
in a situation where their existing paradigm does not work and then encourage
them to rebuild it from there. Learners
must care that their mental model does not work strongly enough to stop and
grapple with the issue at hand. |

11. Think of a critical incident in your teaching –a
situation in which you thought that your teaching or assessment had not gone
quite how you would have liked it to have gone. Consider the following
questions: (i) what was the problem?;
(ii) what were the causes of the problem? ; (iii) how
did you deal with the problem? (iv) how did your solution
to the problem relate to your theory of teaching and learning?

12. Take a topic you are teaching and turn it into
Problem-Based Learning.