To promote active learning and increase student involvement in their own knowledge construction, we have implemented the use of concept sketches, which are simplified sketches that are concisely annotated with processes, concepts, and interrelationships, in addition to labels of features. When concept sketches are instructor-generated, they help students see how we organize and explain our knowledge. Students can generate their own concept sketches after seeing animations, video clips, photographs, and detailed textbook-style illustrations. They can also generate concept sketches while reading their textbook or after participating in inquiry exercises and in-class demonstrations. By generating such sketches and explaining them to their peers, students necessarily process the information more fully, consolidate their understanding, and personalize the information to suit their learning styles. Concept sketches are also excellent for identifying student conceptions prior to instruction, for directing student study as homework, and for assesing student understanding in exams. Concept sketching engages students in the learning process, develops critical thinking skills, teaches communications skills, and makes the course more enjoyable. Abundant educational research indicates that such sketches promote better student comprehension of the system under study and permit students to better use this knowledge to investigate the underlying processes and principles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)