Whiteboarding Facts & Ideas
About Machines That Help
In the middle of the MTH unit, Earl Carlyon used a
teaching strategy from the Learning By Design™
curriculum called "whiteboarding". Howard
Barrows first developed whiteboarding as part of his
Problem-Based Learning approach. In whiteboarding, students
share ideas in a structured way by contributing to a
3-column table that includes Facts, Ideas, and Learning
Issues. The facilitator writes what students contribute
on the board, which remains available during a unit,
so that it can be revisited and revised when appropriate.
(Click to see another science teacher conducting a Whiteboarding
session on Model Parachutes).
While doing the whiteboarding, Earl emphasizes a year-long
theme with his class: that they have to think hard about
the problem rather than mindlessly copy information.
Notice at the end of MOVIE 1 that Earl adds topics himself
when he mentions friction, and brings up issues of Ideal
versus Actual Mechanical Advantage. A device's Ideal
MA can be calculated by taking the ratio of measured
distances traveled, while the Real MA, which includes
losses due to friction, requires taking the ratio of
measured input and output forces to the simple machine