Identify a concept that is often misunderstood in your discipline. Can you think of an analogy that can help make the concept make sense to students?

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“so misunderstood” flickr photo by SquirmyBeluga https://flickr.com/photos/squirmy21/8315536253 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

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24 Responses Completed for this Activity

  • The Curve: An example of misunderstanding (Sofia Silberberg, @SilberbergSofia)

    The Normal Distribution (“The Curve”) and the Empirical Rule associated with it are used in almost all disciplines. The misunderstanding arises when the user assigns a population’s property to a specific sample because that property may (and most certainly will) vary from sample to sample. I draw from the student’s personal experience  (i.e.: having been… Read more »

  • "The Curve": an example of misunderstanding (Sofia Silberberg, @none)

    The concepts of sample, populations, and how they are used to make inferences are frequently misunderstood. Here is an example of how I deal with that misunderstanding.

  • Assessing reading with standardized tests (Pam Millett, @millettpam)

    My students (who are classroom teachers themselves) often balk at the idea of using standardized tests (“it’s not fair, it’s too rigid, there isn’t only one right answer, I know they could do better if I was allowed to help them, I don’t want to label children”). So I try to use the terms “frustration,… Read more »

  • Acidic Freshwater Lakes (Pamela Koski Bryant, @BryantKoski)

    Ontario extend module activity:Identify a concept that is often misunderstood in your discipline. Can you think of an analogy that can help make the concept make sense to students? Answer: I always have students in my environmental chemistry class who do not understand how pH can impact the different fish habitats in freshwater lakes. More… Read more »

  • The Art of Trial and Error (Chantal Abdel-Nour, @ChantalNour)

    Student: I’ve tried everything, and nothing is working…

  • Good versus Bad: An Analogy (Lynn Chartrand, @lynn_chartrand)

    Understanding laboratory results is often confusing especially when there are different lab values that have similar names.

  • The Kitchen Sink (Sidney, @data_professor)

    Students should recognize that you need the right tool or tools for the job, and know when to ask for help.

  • I've worked in my field for 10 years but I'm not an expert (Melanie Lefebvre, @ProfMelLefebvre)

    I’ve worked in the field of mental health and addictions for 10+ years but I’m not the expert. The client is. I’ll attempt to explain with the use of a search engine analogy. . .

  • Honesty in the learning garden (Helen, @baj_mac)

    A growing challenge in post-secondary education is breach of academic integrity. Some students might decide from the get-go to ‘cheat’ by plagiarizing or copying from another student. However, it seems most often the case that a student is pinched for time (i.e., leaving work to the last minute). Under such circumstances, the temptation to ‘borrow’… Read more »

  • Teaching is an Iceberg Profession! (Mel Young, @melyoung00)

    Instead of using an analogy for something my students find difficult to understand, I used the analogy of an iceberg to teach people about the teaching profession — most of what teachers do is done below the surface, out of sight!

    2 Responses to “Misunderstood”

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