Work-It-Out: A Strategy for Teaching First Year University Students “Things They Should Already Know”

Christine Creagh


There is an expectation in first year university courses that students with the required pre-requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes, will succeed and transition into second year. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Even though students may have the necessary pre-requisites, as listed in the university handbook, they may not be metacognitive about their university studies. This lack in understanding, of the learning and teaching process, means that students do not fully appreciate what they should already know, and what they need to learn, and why. The Work-It-Out (WIO) teaching strategy was developed to engage students in the basic skills, activities and thought processes that experts employ as a matter of course. Videos developed as part of the supporting WIO learning materials for physics, portray experts discussing the underlying “why” and “how” of learning using diagrams, formulas, textbooks and laboratory work.

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