“Less is more”: Tips on reviving the survey course 

May 10, 2019

According to Kevin Gannon, the fundamental problem with survey courses is that they overload students with content while failing to demonstrate why that content matters. To address this dilemma, the author provides some tips to revitalize the survey course. Gannon suggests that instructors start by structuring the course around one of the discipline’s fundamental questions. An introductory physics course, for instance, might circulate around the question of how the universe works. A theme within that question can help shape the course’s narrative, and from this an instructor can provide a disciplinary “tool kit” that consists of basic methodologies and concepts. Case studies can then act as examples of attempts to answer the course’s fundamental question, concludes the author. Chronicle (International)