How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning?
That Didn’t Work Out the Way I Anticipated
For the past 12 years, I’ve taught the introductory Art History course. I present the material using a standard approach. That is, I begin with an introductory description of key terms and concepts, including a discussion of the basic visual elements (line, color, light, form, composition, space). Then, for each of the remaining 40 class sessions, I show slides of important works, progressing chronologically from prehistoric Europe to rather recent pieces. As I go, I identify important features that characterize each piece and point out associations among various movements, schools, and periods. I give a midterm and a final exam during which I present slides and ask students to identify the title of the work, the artist, the school, and the period in which it was produced. While the students seem to enjoy the class sessions, they complain about the amount of material they must memorize for the exams. I know there are a lot of individual pieces, but they naturally cluster by period, school, and technique. Once you categorize a work according to those groupings, it should be fairly easy to remember. Nevertheless, the students seem to be having a lot of difficulty in my exams identifying even some of the most important pieces.
Professor Rachel Rothman
There Must Be a Better Way!
Anatomy and Physiology is one of the core courses required for our nursing, pre-med, ...