official school logo for Whatcom community college

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Below are contributions from the STEM faculty at Whatcom Community College as a result of the division retreat held in September, 2016. The contributions are divided by domain, but include activities that range from whole course assessments to individual activities. Many are easily modifiable for your own domain.

## Biology/Nutrition

Hilary Engebretson, Using learning progressions, knowledge surveys, and post-exam reflections to drive student ownership over learning

In this set of course-long materials and assignments, students are given the tools to take ownership over their own learning progression. Students are given a clear set of "study guide" prompts for each day's content and are encouraged to stay on task heading up to each exam. Before each exam, students must complete a knowledge survey to assess their readiness for the exam. After each exam, students must complete a post-exam reflection assignment that encourages them to determine where they are doing well and where they can improve.

Kim Reeves, Student directed review

In this activity, I had students break out into groups of 3-5 students. Each group was given a whiteboard. The students were instructed to create a critical thinking question from the unit that they were currently studying...the digestive system. The group answered their question...erased their answer and all of the groups rotated their whiteboards to another group. The questions were rotated through each group. Once all of the groups had an opportunity with the questions, they repeated the exercise with a different set of questions. This activity continued throughout the entire class period.

John Rousseau, Ecology modules

In the ecology model that extends over approximately nine class days, students learn important ecology concepts from reading selected sections from their textbook and other sources. They answer approximately fifteen questions related to their reading and submit those questions on-line prior to class.

In class or on short field trips to a nearby local coniferous ecosystem students, work in small groups to apply the knowledge they have learned in their reading to their local ecosystem. As their 'academic knowledge' about ecologic concepts expands, students also expand their abilities to apply this knowledge to more completely understand how their local ecosystem functions.

Nathan Rice, Mystery Boxes: Exploring the Process of Science

In this activity, students will follow the steps of the scientific method to investigate the unknown contents and internal structure of sealed boxes. They will generate questions and hypotheses and then test those hypotheses using their senses and a few tools. Then they will share their conclusions with the class and reevaluate their conclusions after peer review. (Thanks to Kaatje Kraft for her input on this activity).

Debbie Lancaster, Chemistry and Cell Review for Microbiology

Part 1- One of the prerequisites for this course is General Chemistry, thus students should have some knowledge about basic chemical principles. This class activity is designed to allow students to review selected topics in Chemistry.

Part 2- Another prerequisite for this course is General Biology, thus students should have some knowledge about cell biology most likely with an emphasis on eukaryotic cells. This class activity is designed to allow for a review of eukaryotic cells.

Both of these activities relate to the Learning Outcome of Structure and Function

## Chemistry

Tommaso Vanelli & Paul Frazey, Combination jigsaw and gallery walk activity

This activity is intended to have students explore the fundamental concepts underlying the periodic trends discussed in the General Chemistry I (CHEM& 161) curriculum. In the past we have found that students can easily memorize the periodic trend, but have difficulty explaining it and understanding why there are exceptions to the trends. AS an alternative to the typical lecture period on these trends we have developed a combination Jigsaw activity followed by a Gallery Walk. In this activity each student will become an expert in one of the periodic trends and teach it to their colleagues in their "home group". They will then use this knowledge to answer a couple of challenge questions pertaining to common exceptions to or application of the periodic trends and present their answers to the class. Finally, students will participate in a Gallery Walk where they contribute to posters summarizing the periodic trends.

Paul Frazey, Stoichiometry: An inquiry-based general chemistry activity

In this inquiry-based classroom activity, students build an understanding of stoichiometry through the analogy of building bicycles. Students are presented with a model in which bicycles are built from packages of parts of particular masses. Students are then asked to apply the model to the calculation of the number and masses of bikes that can be built from certain masses of packages of parts. Finally, students extend the application of the model to the calculation of the number and masses of molecules that can be produced from certain masses of reactant molecules.

## Computer Science/Computer Information Systems

Travis McEwan, Muddiest Point/Feedback on Lesson Material

In this activity students will submit a muddiest point as a homework assignment, the instructor will then post the muddiest points to a discussion board on Canvas anonymously. Students will provide feedback and answer these points. Students will then resubmit their muddiest points after they have received feedback stating what they learned or what additional material they need clarified.

Ryan Parsons & Brody Coleman, 3-Part Calendar Assignment for Introductory Computer Science Courses- Building a meaningful, useful, long-term project

This 3 part assignment is designed to be worked on over the entire quarter for an introductory computer science course. The end result is to create a calendar program that has a visual display and several different functionalities. Students learn how to build on a project, starting from scratch and making this their own. They develop good program and iterative design skills.

## Engineering

Eric Davishahl, Knowledge Survey for Engineering Statistics

This knowledge survey consists of 122 specific tasks mapped to eight course-level learning outcomes. The survey can be administered multiple times during the quarter. Students report on their confidence level regarding their ability to perform the specific tasks that make up the survey.

## Geology/Environmental Science

Bernie Dougan, Using field data and a hybrid jigsaw to represent the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest

This hybrid jigsaw activity will start with students doing field research during a class field trip, then each student will use the data to formulate their own geologic history paper. After I return the graded paper, students will use their information to complete the final three steps of the hybrid jigsaw; first, working in a small specialty group focused on one aspect of the topic and representing that aspect with a whiteboard sketch, then engage in peer teaching, and to finish the jigsaw, individually collect new information. The jigsaw's primary outcome is for students to deepen their understanding of the topic through communication between students and with the instructor.

Wendy Borgeson, Ecoconcepts illustrated: Art projects to understand Environmental Science vocabulary

The purpose of this activity is for students new to the fields of Environmental Science and Ecology to learn some fundamental vocabulary of these Sciences in an interactive and creative way in contrast to rote memorization.

## Math

Mei Luu, Properties of Real Numbers in-class group activity

In this activity, students are taught all the properties of Real Numbers, then see the examples presented by the instructor. Then, students will form groups of 2 or 3 students and pick one problem from the worksheet to practice what they learned. After successfully completing their task as a group, each group will pair with another group (who worked on different property) to show which problem/property they worked on and how they did it.

Yumi Clark Course Summary Porfolio

In portfolio students are to complete the portfolio by summarizing important features of various types of functions we study throughout the course in their own words as well as providing examples of graphs, equations, and applications.

Heidi Ypma, Online forum to explore applications of Rational equations

In this online activity students will be asked to solve either a motion or work related problem that requires they set up a rational equation to solve. They will then critique each others solutions by addressing specific questions outlined in the activity and then respond to the critiques they receive.

Jessica Conner, Translating English to Algebra, a modified gallery walk for online students

In this online assignment students will read about different phrases that indicate the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. They will write additional phrases from their own experience and use them in a full sentence. Students will then receive a compiled list of these phrases and sentences which they will evaluate, synthesize and/or use.

Lee Singleton, Investigating right triangle trigonometry

Students will use a hands-on approach to investigate how scaling a triangle does not affect the trig definitions and ratios based on that triangle. Students measure legs in a triangle unique to them, compute the hypotenuse, and find the six trig ratios of an angle. Students then compare results with group members that have similar triangles on a larger or smaller scale. Students are asked to draw conclusions at different points throughout the activity.

Students also use their knowledge of trig ratios to solve right triangles given an angle and a side.

Wendi Davis, Knowledge survey of probability in statistics

In this activity students take a knowledge survey on probability where they say whether they COULD answer the questions and with what degree of confidence. Note that the student does NOT work these problems, but rather ranks their level of sureness on the individual outcomes. The knowledge survey is intended to be given pre and post chapter, but before any formal assessment.

Carrie Muir, Introductions to Statistics

In this activity, students form expert groups to learn about different sampling methods, then share their expertise in mixed groups. The mixed groups then analyze possible studies, considering how sampling could/could not be performed and what the most effective approach would be.

Leslie Glen, Wax paper folding- discovering conic sections

Students fold "patty paper" to create each of the conic sections, one at a time. They create three "layers" for each conic section.

For the parabola, they fold one layer to create a parabola, a second layer that shows the relationship between the focus and the latus rectum, and a third layer that examines the locus of points.

For the ellipse, one layer is the ellipse, one shows the constancy of the distance from one focus to any point on the ellipse to the other focus, and one explores the relationship between a, b and c.

For the hyperbola, one layer is the hyperbola, one shows the constancy of the distance from one focus to any point on the hyperbola to the other focus, and one explores the relationship between a, b and c.

Jody DeWilde, Knowledge Survey for basic college mathematics

This knowledge survey will be used for several purposes. First, students will complete the appropriate part of the survey before each unit. This will give students information on what will be included in the unit and allow them to begin accessing their own prior knowledge. It will give the instructor data about which areas students feel more or less confident in, to help in planning time for each component.

The knowledge survey can be given again before the unit exam for students to use in organizing their review time and then reflect on how well they judged their knowledge. Finally, all of the unit knowledge surveys will become a tool for reviewing for the final.

## Physics

Tran Phung, Pre-lab 1: Students ideas about the relationship between Position-time and Velocity-time Graphs

Lab 1 introduces students to Position-time and Velocity-time graphs. While students are good at translating physical motion to a Position-time graphs, that translation is not so apparent for a Velocity-time graph, especially when many students do not even realize that velocity is a vector and direction matters. This pre-lab gets to students initial perceptions of motion graphs. After doing the lab, students can then reflect back on their initial ideas and see how they might be tweaked.