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  1. Student Accountability in Team-based Learning Classes

    Team-based learning (TBL) is a form of small-group learning that assumes stable teams promote accountability. Teamwork promotes communication among members; application exercises promote active learning. Students must prepare for each class; failure to do so harms their team’s performance. Therefore, TBL promotes accountability. As part of the course grade, students assess the performance of their teammates. The evaluation forces students to rank their teammates and to provide rationale for the highest and lowest rankings. These evaluations provide rich data on small-group dynamics.

  2. Blended Learning as a Potentially Winning Combination of Face-to-face and Online Learning: An Exploratory Study

    Blended learning, in the form of screencasts to be viewed online outside of class, was incorporated into three sections of an introductory sociology course in a liberal arts college setting. The screencasts were used to introduce concepts and theories to provide more time for discussion in class and more opportunity for students to review concepts and theories outside of class. Students’ use and their perceptions of the impact of the screencasts were assessed with an in-class survey instrument in addition to a web-based college-administered survey.

  3. Should We Talk about the Pain? Personalizing Sociology in the Medical Sociology Classroom

    This article discusses the potential of personalizing sociology curriculum, specifically in Medical Sociology courses, to increase student engagement and sociological awareness. Based on our experiences offering separate Medical Sociology courses at a large public research university and a small private teaching university, respectively, we outline emotional techniques we have each employed—separately and together—in our classes to facilitate student engagement, critical awareness, and medical coming out processes in our classrooms.

  4. An Exploratory Study Comparing the Effectiveness of Lecturing versus Team-based Learning

    Lecturing has been criticized for fostering a passive learning environment, emphasizing a one-way flow of information, and not adequately engaging students. In contrast, active-learning approaches, such as team-based learning (TBL), prioritize student interaction and engagement and create multidirectional flows of information. This paper presents an exploratory analysis of whether lecturing or TBL was better for teaching content; developing skills, such as critical thinking; and creating an enjoyable learning environment in a sociology course.

  5. Teaching Around the World: Sociology on the Semester at Sea Ship

    Michelle M. Camacho, Fellow, American Council on Education

  6. Digital Punishment's Tangled Web

    Americans love crime. The criminal justice system is fetishized in popular culture and news media. We watch the news and scour the Internet to assess our own moral compass, take cues from others' digressions, and bear witness to justice and punishment. Historically, we learned about crime through news media and fiction. The Internet has dramatically changed this landscape: for the first time, mug shots and jailhouse rosters are available with a click.

  7. The Graduate Teaching Seminar Project Using TRAILS

    A vigorous discipline of sociology requires the creation of meaningful research knowledge and the training of professional sociologists able to pass on that knowledge effectively. In spring 2015, four ASA Department Affiliate institutions participated in a pilot project to integrate TRAILS, ASA’s Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, into their graduate teaching seminars.

  8. Symbolic Politics of the State: The Case of In-state Tuition Bills for Undocumented Students

    A symbolic politics approach contends that the meanings policy proposals convey, and the audiences they attract, may matter more than whether they become law. Yet, we know little about the sociopolitical conditions prompting lawmakers to engage in symbolic politics.

  9. Kindergarten Black–White Test Score Gaps: Re-examining the Roles of Socioeconomic Status and School Quality with New Data

    Black–white test score gaps form in early childhood and widen over elementary school. Sociologists have debated the roles that socioeconomic status (SES) and school quality play in explaining these patterns. In this study, I replicate and extend past research using new nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011. I find black–white test score gaps at kindergarten entry in 2010 in reading (SD = .32), math (SD = .54), and working memory (SD = .52 among children with valid scores).

  10. Student Neighborhoods, Schools, and Test Score Growth: Evidence from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Schools and neighborhoods are thought to be two of the most important contextual influences on student academic outcomes. Drawing on a unique data set that permits simultaneous estimation of neighborhood and school contributions to student test score gains, we analyze the distributions of these contributions to consider the relative importance of schools and neighborhoods in shaping student achievement outcomes.