3F: Preparing graduate student instructors to use cooperative learning activities in the classroom

Laura Ziegler, Anna Peterson, Kevin Kasper, & Ulrike Genschel (Iowa State University)


Instructors that primarily experienced lecture-based teaching approaches tend to adopt a similar teaching style. This is likely true for graduate student instructors who teach introductory level courses. However, lecture focused approaches are in direct contrast to the fourth recommendation in the GAISE College Report: “Foster Active Learning.” Using a variety of cooperative learning strategies, this session aims to advance pedagogical skills for teaching statistical content. Employing hands-on activities, we demonstrate how to engage graduate student instructors in cooperative learning techniques that allow them to confront their misconceptions about how people learn and deepen their own statistical understanding. Participants will experience first-hand several cooperative learning activities such as think-pair-share and structured academic controversy. We will further discuss how to create a safe environment in weekly meetings with graduate student instructors providing them opportunities to experience cooperative learning activities and helping graduate students transfer this knowledge into their classrooms.