In this episode, we hear from Margaret Rubega about her #birdclass assignment. Rubega is an associate professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. She’s also Connecticut’s state ornithology, and she teaches a large enrollment ornithology class at UConn. In this class, she asks her students to take to Twitter and share their observations of the birds they see on their way to class, as they go to their jobs, wherever they might happen to be, tagging their tweets with the hashtag #birdclass. This gets right at the goal of transfer, having students take what they’re learning about birds in the classroom and apply it to new contexts and environments out of the classroom. That’s a hard goal to reach with students, so they need lots of practice, and the #birdclass assignment provides that. And since the student tweets are public, students can easily see each other’s contributions to learn from them and to be inspired by them.
This interview with Margaret was recorded for a free online course called “An Introduction to Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching.” All the videos produced for the course, including this video interview with Margaret Rubega, are available on this YouTube channel. Visit stemteachingcourse.org for links and more information.
- Margaret Rubega’s lab website
- @profrubega on Twitter
- The latest #birdclass tweets
- Our free online STEM teaching course