Dissecting the Classroom


Brett Beadle for The Chronicle

“They love your lectures,” Brett Gilley (right), told his colleague Stuart Sutherland, at the U. of British Columbia, after doing a minute-by-minute analysis 
of a class session of Mr. Sutherland’s earth-science course. But, he added gently, “you could put so many activities into that lecture.”

Brett H. Gilley took a seat in the back of the lecture hall and laid the tools of his trade in front of him.

The first was a gridded sheet of paper, on which Mr. Gilley, a science teaching-and-learning fellow here at the University of British Columbia, wrote the course’s name. The other was the stopwatch on his cellphone, which he started.

About 100 students took their seats. Mr. Gilley had come to analyze Stuart E. Sutherland’s