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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20 Responses Completed for this Activity

  • 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!

  • Zinc and dress shirts (Christine, @Calm_Spark)

    In analytical instrumentation the students needs to make solutions of the appropriate concentration for a specific element using compounds.  Often the students miscalculate what they need to weigh out because they forget that the element is only part of the compound.  My analogy relates the element to sleeves of a shirt.

  • Signs vs symptoms: The challenges of assessing patients (Iain Alexander Robertson, @IainRobertson)

    One of the courses I teach is called ‘clinical assessment’. It can be very challenging for the students because it requires them to draw from previous learning (e.g. anatomy), learn new information (e.g. how to assess various joints in the body), and then integrate that learning into clinical practice. Students can often be overwhelmed with… Read more »

  • Misunderstood Math (Lisa Koster, @lkoster)

    This is my response to the Misunderstood Activity.  Before trying to come up with something of my own, I thought I would do some searching to see if someone else had already found an answer.  I found something and shared it in my post. This was a great exercise in thinking outside of the subject… Read more »

  • Scanning your textbook (Irene Stewart, @IrenequStewart)

    In the study skill/learning strategy area of my practice as a Retention Coordinator, students seem to misunderstand why one would scan their textbook chapter before reading.

    2 Responses to “Misunderstood”

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