Congrats Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Associate Professor of History and of American Culture, and Associate Chair, Department of American Culture, for being awarded Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize!
Project-Based Learning in Humanities Lecture Halls
Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, associate professor of history and of American culture, and associate chair, Department of American Culture, LSA
Participating in the CRLT seminar on the science of learning piqued Hoffnung-Garskof's interest in incorporating project-based learning into lectures in the humanities, where that strategy has been less common.
For his lecture course on immigration law, he implemented i-clicker quizzes to gauge if students understood basic points from the readings and to understand which learning gaps he needed to fill.
He then focused on applying the lessons in class, giving students research tasks or interpretive challenges modeled on historical practice, cultural studies and what it would be like to be law students or lawyers.
In a nomination letter, U-M students Sophia Sproul and Telana Kabisch wrote they took Hoffnung-Garskof's History 335 Immigration Law course this semester and noted several key components that enhanced learning.
Students are assigned a reasonable amount of readings each week that are relevant to that week's topic, and the weekly i-clicker quizzes keep students accountable.
Each class contains group work activities, such as research workshops and role-playing activities where students take on the role of immigration officers and decide who is admissible and who is not. Students also got the opportunity to work on group presentations, where they completed research on topics and answered research questions.
"In this class, as students, we are forced out of the generally accepted passive role in which we blindly take notes and skim hundreds of pages," Sproul and Kabisch wrote. "Rather, we are active learners."