This is something I use at the beginning of a semester. I ask the class: “How are you an expert?” What is an expert? Let me call an expert someone that is comfortable answering questions about that particular topic.
If students are too shy to share (especially on the first day of class), I will start it off. I am an expert in:
- Some (but clearly not all) physics stuff. In particular, classical mechanics, physics education, numerical modeling (though not really an expert – but I could answer questions).
- I can play the clarinet and saxophone – but I haven’t practiced in a long while
- I already mentioned that I would consider myself an expert scuba diver – ask me anything (except not about rebreathers, I have never used those). Oh, but you could ask about cave diving and decompression diving.
- Teaching kids to ride a bike. I have done it enough, I think I can answer any questions.
Ok, you get the idea. Unfortunately, I am not an expert in any type of sport – but that is great example. It is likely someone in the class plays a sport, at least in high school.
What is the point? Well the point is – how do you get to be an expert? Suppose you are an expert piano player. How did that happen? Work, time, effort happened. It is difficult to be an expert, it takes time. It doesn’t happen over night.