Today we finally passed out the Consensus Notebooks I prepared for students to take notes in. This is what’s emerged from a long journey trying to find a way to facilitate better note taking in a class that’s so discussion-centered.
The notebook is broken up into topics (cvpm, etc.) and sections, with prompts of questions that need to be answered by consensus. There’s space for example problems, etc. but we have to decide as a class which examples from whiteboarding we want to include.
The first section in the notebook asks two questions – How can we tell which is the independent variable in an experiment? How can we tell which is the dependent variable? These questions were part of the homework practice sheet, and students were primed for the discussion. We talked for a while about which wording would be most useful, during which some students started to write down wording that made sense to them. Eventually, everyone had something in their notes, but it’s up to them to make sure it’s useful.
We also had a good conversation about when we can draw conclusions, and whether we should be surprised by variability in our data. A few sample whiteboards from this discussion:
##expdesign ##consensus ##physicsfirst ##whiteboarding