In this activity, reflective writing on waves informs and provides the basis for the instructor’s in-class plan.
Students begin by completing a reading assignment on waves, introducing concepts such as wavelength, phase, and types of waves. As students read, they “free-write” a reflective writing about the concepts they struggle to understand. They should write any problems they encountered or questions they still have after completing the reading. The writing should only be a few paragraphs. The writing is submitted online at least 3 hours before class.
Prior to the class, the instructor reads through a sample of the reflective writings, and imports all of them into a word cloud generator (such as wordle.net). The word cloud gives the instructor an overview of the topics most commonly mentioned, and the sample gives specific and idea of exactly what students are struggling to understand. The instructor annotates a few examples of the reflective writings to use as visual aids in class. These should be anonymized.
In class, students are assigned to groups of 3-6 and told to come up with a “superquestion”, a question related to the reading which none of them can answer. In doing so, they answer each other’s questions. The instructor then leads a class discussion in which the answer to each groups’ super-question is explored.
For the rest of the class, the instructor presents a series of problems (or other tasks) to be completed in groups, chosen based on the reflective writings to cover misconceptions or difficulties the students had. Between each problem, the instructor recaps the material either through discussion or mini-lectures, using the annotated reflective writings when appropriate.
Students will familiarize themselves with introductory topics related to waves.
Copyright: © 2023 Whittaker. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication on this website is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.