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Social Science & Teaching
Posted By Frank Pasquale On February 27, 2013 @ 9:05 am In Teaching,Technology | No Comments
Gary King  and Maya Sen have argued  that traditional universities “can build on our tremendous advantage in research to improve teaching and learning.” In a recent article  entitled “How Social Science Research Can Improve Teaching,” they give more details:
We marshal discoveries about human behavior and learning from social science research and show how they can be used to improve teaching and learning. The discoveries are easily stated as three social science generalizations: (1) social connections motivate, (2) teaching teaches the teacher, and (3) instant feedback improves learning. We show how to apply these generalizations via innovations in modern information technology inside, outside, and across university classrooms. We also give concrete examples of these ideas from innovations we have experimented with in our own teaching.
I don’t think all the ideas they propose in the piece could work in a law school context, but several seem well worth trying. I have found, for instance, that teaching a course in Health Data Analysis & Advocacy with a professor from my university’s math department has been a good “stretch” exercise for all involved. In other courses, I’ve tried to introduce students to various online communities that encourage learning about health law. (I’ve found that Twitter may well be the best place to keep track of what’s going on in the law and policy of health information technology.) The King/Sen paper offers many more ideas for promoting new kinds of learning, particularly for those willing to buck the MOOC  trend with FASOCs (focused and small online courses).
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URLs in this post:
 Gary King: http://gking.harvard.edu/
 have argued: http://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/troubledfuture.pdf
 article: http://gking.harvard.edu/files/gking/files/teach.pdf
 MOOC: http://eduoptimists.blogspot.com/2013/02/predatory-privatization-exploiting.html
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