Deb Wingert and Tom Molitor of the University of Minnesota divide their students into small groups and have each one of those groups research and report back to the larger class on one of the families of viruses. They can use any number of ways to teach the class about their virus family. One particularly memorable occasion ended with the entire class singing, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Rabies.” (Wingert & Molitor, 2008)
Cross-disciplinary assignments can be a great way to get students thinking about a subject in an entirely new way. Plus, these assignments can make it far more likely that they’ll actually retain the information. After all, who could possibly forget a rousing rendition of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Rabies.”
Wingert, D., & Molitor, T. (2008). Actively Engaging Large Classes in the Sciences. Faculty Focus: Strategies for Teaching Large Classes, 11.
If you’d like to share an interesting and innovative assignment or teaching method, please come see us at GIBX. We’d love to hear all about it and possibly share it with your fellow faculty members on TIPS! Another great place to share teaching ideas is at the TFSC where you can get the peer support you need to enhance teaching strategies and engage students in learning.