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BEST PRACTICES IN COLLEGE TEACHING: Creating an Active Learning Environnent Debra Dunlap Runshe January 19, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "BEST PRACTICES IN COLLEGE TEACHING: Creating an Active Learning Environnent Debra Dunlap Runshe January 19, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 BEST PRACTICES IN COLLEGE TEACHING: Creating an Active Learning Environnent
Debra Dunlap Runshe January 19, 2011

2 K – W - L What do you know about active learning?
What would you like to know about active learning? What have you learned about active learning?

3 Active Learning By the end of this session, participants will:
articulate a rationale for using active learning in the classroom describe instructional methods that encourage active learning identify techniques that can be incorporated into their classes to create an active learning environment improve student retention and success

4 What is Active Learning?

5 Active Learning (Bonwell & Sutherland, 1996) Minute Paper
Think-Pair-Share Pro-Con Grid CATs Cooperative learning Problem-based learning Longer duration, higher-risk Experiential Learning Pause Procedure Class discussion simple complex Short, low-risk (Bonwell & Sutherland, 1996)

6 Already doing it? Writing exercises Tests & quizzes Computer exercises
Labs Student presentations

7 Why Active Learning?

8 Why Active Learning? Research has shown that knowledge retention can be significantly increased by creating a welcoming environment and incorporating active learning strategies into your teaching.

9 Bloom’s Taxonomy Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application
Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation (Bloom, 1956)

10 Seven Principles for Good Practice
Encourages contact between faculty and students. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students. Uses active learning techniques. Gives prompt feedback. Emphasizes time on task. Communicates high expectations. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning. (Chickering and Gamson, 1987)

11 Passive vs. Active Learning
Students learn both passively and actively. Passive learning takes place when students take on the role of “receptacles of knowledge”; that is, they do not directly participate in the learning process. Active learning is more likely to take place when students are doing something besides listening. (Ryans and Martin, 1989)

12 Retention of Information
After 24 hours, what percent of information is retained by students in a lecture environment? 5% 10% 20% 40% 50%

13 Passive vs. Active Learning
(Sousa, 2001)

14 Why Active Learning? Kuh et al identified a positive correlation between active learning and gains in general education and intellectual skills Also determined that, among good practice variables, active learning is the best predictor of gains for both men and women at colleges and universities (Kuh, Pace, & Vesper, 1997)

15 Why Active Learning? Students who have little mainstream culture experience and limited English proficiency may feel less isolated through participation. Instructors can identify terminology preferences made by social groups that may be hindering or strengthening the learning process. (McKeachie, 2009) Instructors can engender a sense of success in students through frequent written and oral feedback. (Wlodkowski & Ginsberg, 1995)

16 Why Active Learning? More Evidence on Impact: (Prince, 2004)
Interactive engagement methods leads to improved test performance Collaborative learning methods enhance/improve academic achievement, student attitudes, and retention Problem-based learning develops positive student attitudes, interpersonal skills, problem solving and lifelong learning skills, knowledge retention Cooperative learning methods enhance student achievement, interpersonal skills, self-esteem (Prince, 2004)

17 Student Involvement is the Key to Learning
Research supports this: “Analysis of the research literature. . . suggests that students must do more than just listen. They must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems.” --Bonwell & Eison, 1991 “The body of research on the impacts of the college academic experience is extensive. The strongest general conclusion [is that] the greater the student’s involvement or engagement in academic work, the greater his or her level of knowledge acquisition.” Pasquerilla & Terenzini, 1991 Limited interaction Extensive interaction More control Less control

18 Active Learning Are there cons?

19 Start Right Away! Use an active learning technique on the first day of class – it sets an expectation of participation form the very beginning of the semester. Start with an activity that is quick and easy. This will help students acclimate to your teaching style as well as help them learn how to participate in collaborative learning

20 Where do I start? Punctuate your lecture:
Pause 3 times for two minutes each during a lecture to allow students to consolidate, share, and compare notes. Assign short, ungraded written exercises followed by class discussion. Give two mini-lectures separated by a small group study session built around a study guide.

21 Easy to Implement Techniques
Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) simple, ungraded activities that can: provide feedback about how your students are doing help your student monitor their own learning focus your students attention on course content through reflection, writing, and speaking allow you to punctuate your lecture with learning activities

22 Purpose of CATs “. . . to improve learning in progress by providing teachers with the kind of feedback they need to inform their day-to-day instructional decisions, and by providing students with information that can help them learn more effectively." ‑Tom Angelo

23 Characteristics of CATs
Learner‑Centered Teacher‑Directed Mutually Beneficial Formative Context‑Specific Ongoing Rooted In Good Teaching Practice

24 Basic Assumptions of CATs
Learning is directly related to teaching. Effective assessment begins with clear, specific goals and objectives. Students need appropriate feedback, early and often. The best type of assessment to evaluate teaching and learning is that which is created and conducted by the faculty, themselves. Classroom assessment does not require specialized training. (Angelo & Cross, 1993)

25 Examples of Low-Preparation CATs
Background Knowledge Probe Punctuated Lectures Minute Paper The Muddiest Point Think – Pair – Share Complete a Sentence Starter (Angelo & Cross, 1993)

26 Purpose of a Background Knowledge Probe
For students, it highlights key information to be studied, offering a preview of material to come and/or a review of prior knowledge. For teachers, it helps determine the best starting point and the most appropriate level for a lesson For both, it can be used for either pre- or post-lesson assessment of learning

27 Examples of Background Knowledge Probe
Pro-Con Grid Survey/inventory Place yourself along the continuum. “Signs up”

28 Background Knowledge Probe
How familiar are you with Angelo and Cross’s Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers? What assessment techniques, if applicable do you routinely use in your classes?

29 Pro-Con Grid Develop a list of what you think would be pros and cons of using active learning techniques and of lecturing. We will then come back together and share what some of those pros and cons are.

30 Pro-Con Grid Pros Cons Active Learning Strategies Lecturing

31 Focus Question Think While active learning has the potential to revolutionize instruction, there are many reasons why it doesn’t take place. What are barriers to active learning in the classroom?

32 Focus Question Think into the future
As students leave the university, what are the skills, strategies, concepts, aptitudes, and personal qualities that they will need to be a productive and successful citizen in the coming years?

33 Focused Listing Purpose: To help determine what learners recall about a specific topic, including concepts they associate with a central point. When to use this? Before, during or after a lesson. Steps: Students write key word at the top of a page. For 2 – 3 minutes, just down related terms important to the understanding of that topic. Pair up with peer, sharing lists and explanations of why concepts were included. This will build their knowledge base and clarify their understanding of the topic.

34 One Minute Paper What technique do you think you will implement in your next course? Specifically, where do you see its use?

35 Complete a Sentence Starter
Angelo and Cross’s “Minute Paper”, where students typically respond to two questions is the best-known and most widely-used CAT because. . .

36 P – M - I Pluses Minuses Interesting Points

37 Muddiest Point What about incorporating active learning and classroom assessment techniques into your classroom is still confusing to you?

38 Memory Matrix Course Objective Beginning of semester routine
End of semester routine Specific evidence of growth To develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing and proofreading To write and to read with an awareness of purpose appropriate to the needs of the audience To narrow the focus of an essay, using a thesis statement appropriately

39 Defining Features Matrix
What are the differences between formative evaluation and summative evaluation? Formative Summative

40 Defining Features Matrix
What are the differences between formative evaluation and summative evaluation? Formative Summative Developmental Non-graded Anonymous Occurs more frequently Formal Graded evaluations (quizzes, exams, papers) Occurs at course transitions Often too late for students

41 Concept Maps Brainstorm terms and short phrases related to the topic.
Create a shape for your central topic. Create levels of association with shapes and lines. Insert logical connectives on the lines connecting the concepts (such as includes, excludes, causes, results in, predicts, contradicts, supports).

42 Concept Maps Central Theme Subtopic Detail Subtopic Subtopic

43 Concept Maps Judicial Branches of the Government Legislative Executive
Senate Legislative Congress Executive Judicial House of Representatives Supreme Court President Vice President

44 Active Learning Beyond the Classroom
Two ways to actively engage your students through the use of technology: Chat Sessions Discussion Forums At the beginning of the semester: Assess student technology experience and access to the environment. Include a demonstration of the online environment. Establish ground rules for on-line interactions.

45 Benefits of eLearning Low participants and shy students sometimes open up. There are minimal off-task behaviors. Delayed collaboration is more extensive and rich than real time; real time is more immediate and personal. Students can generate tons of information or case situations on the Web. (Bonk & King, 1998)

46 Benefits of eLearning Minimal student disruptions and dominance.
Students are excited to publish work. Many forms of online advice are available. Practitioner, expert, instructor, and student online feedback are all valuable and important. (Bonk & King, 1998)

47 Benefits of eLearning With the permanence of the postings, one can print out discussions and perform retrospective analysis and other reflection activities. Discussion extends across the semester and creates opportunities to share perspectives beyond your classroom. E-learning encourages instructors to coach and guide learning. (Bonk & King, 1998)

48 Chat Room Activities Debate Guest Speaker Office Hours

49 Discussion Forum Activities
Peer Review of Projects Scavenger Hunt Electronic Séance Jigsaw

50 How do I choose?

51 How do I Choose? Objectives Activities Assessment
What do I want my students to know? What do I want my students to be able to do? How will I assess my students?

52 How do I choose? Course Objectives Personal Style Student Experience
Acquisition of knowledge Acquisition of skills/attitudes Personal Style Limited interaction Extensive interaction More control Less control Student Experience Inexperienced Experienced (Bonwell & Sutherland, 1996)

53 How do I choose? Students are Active/Lower Level of Risk
Demonstrations Self-assessments Brainstorming activities Quizzes or tests Lecture with pauses or discussion Surveys/questionnaires Students are Active/Higher Role playing Small group presentations Individual presentations Guided imagery exercise Unstructured small group discussion Responsive lecture Students are Inactive/Lower Level of Risk Show a film for the entire class period. Lecture for the entire class period. Students are Inactive/Higher Invite a guest speaker.

54 What do you think? What techniques are suitable for your class? What techniques are you already using? Write down an area of your course you believe is appropriate for active learning and the technique you would use.

55 Plan, Plan, Plan Create your learning goals and objectives for the session activity is to take place as well as the course. Plan the activity. Articulate your goals and objectives to your students in verbal and written instructions. Debrief after the activity. What did they learn? What about the process? Assess the activity. Refine the objectives, activity, and assessment for next time.

56 Words of Wisdom When I hear, I forget.
When I hear and see, I remember a little. When I hear, see, and ask questions about it or discuss it, I begin to understand. When I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill. (Silberman, 1996)

57 Final thoughts...

58 Resources Publications Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bean, J. C. (1996). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bligh, D. A. (2000). What's the use of lectures? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, no. 1. Washington, D.C.: The George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development. Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., Cocking., R. R. (Eds.). (2000). How people learn: Brian, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Chickering, A. W., and Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin 39(7): 3-7. Chickering, A., & Erhmann, S. (1996, October). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE Bulletin, October. Retrieved from

59 Resources Publications Davis, B. G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Diamond, R. M. (2008). Designing & assessing sources & curricula: A practical guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Finkel, D. L. (2000). Teaching with your mouth shut. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers. Halpern, D. F. & Hakel, M. D. (2003). Applying the science of learning. Change. (July/August) Hatfield, S. R. editor; with David G. Brown ... [et al.]; and special sections by Martin Nemko, contributing editor. (1995). The seven principles in action: improving undergraduate education. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing. Johnson, D. W. & Johnson, R. T. (1994). Learning together and alone: Cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning (4th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Kuh, G. D., Pace, C. R. & Vesper, N. (1997). The development of process indicators to estimate student gains associated with good practices in undergraduate education. Research in Higher Education 38(4):

60 Resources Publications
MacGregor, J. (2000). Strategies for energizing large classes: From small groups to learning communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Meyers, C. & Jones, T. B. (1993). Promoting active learning: Strategies for the college classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Millis, B. J., & Cottrell, P. G. (1998). Cooperative learning for higher education faculty. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (1998). Studying college students in the 21st century: Meeting new challenges .The Review of Higher Education, 21(2), Silberman, M. L. (1996). Active learning: 101 strategies to teach any subject. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Sousa, D. A. (2001). How the brain learns: A classroom teacher's guide (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Svinicki, M. D. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. Bolton, MA: Anker Pub. Co.

61 Resources Case Study Teaching web sites National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Virginia Tech Case Study Site Harvard University Case Site for Business Penn State University Case Site Institute for Case Development

62 Resources Problem Based Learning web sites
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Center for Problem Based Learning Maricopa Center for Teaching and Learning Samford University Problem Based Learning at McMaster University Problem Based Learning Initiative Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) University of Delaware

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