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Active Learning Martha Wicker, Director

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1 Active Learning Martha Wicker, Director
Center for Instructional Development Clayton State University

2 Activity 1: Background Knowledge Probe
Question 1: What is your interest/knowledge level of active learning? I have never heard of active learning. I have heard about active learning. I have read about or attended a conference session on active learning. I have participated in a course, workshop, or training session on active learning. I have done independent research and/or presented or published a paper on active learning.

3 Activity 1: Background Knowledge Probe
Question 2: What is your implementation level of active learning? I have never used active learning strategies in the classroom. I seldom use active learning strategies in the classroom. I sometimes use active learning strategies in the classroom. I often use active learning strategies in the classroom. I always use active learning strategies in the classroom.

4 Background & Definitions

5 “Learners construct their own reality or at
Constructivism “Learners construct their own reality or at least interpret it based upon their perceptions of experiences, so an individual's knowledge is a function of one's prior experiences, mental structures, and beliefs that are used to interpret objects and events." (Jonasson, 1991) Leading Theorists: Jean Piaget Seymour Papert Jerome Bruner Lev Vygotsky John Dewey

6 Constructivism Premises: Learners construct their own meaning
New learning builds on prior knowledge Social interaction enhances learning Meaningful learning occurs through “authentic” tasks (Good and Brophy,1994) * Learners construct their own meaning. Students are not passive receptacles. They do not easily process or transfer what they passively receive. In order to make knowledge useful in a new situation, students must make a deliberate effort to make sense of the information that comes to them. They must own it. They must manipulate, discover, and create knowledge to fit their belief systems. * New learning builds on prior knowledge. In making an effort to make sense of information, students must make connections between old knowledge and new information. They must compare and question, challenge and investigate, accept or discard old information and beliefs in order to progress. * Learning is enhanced by social interaction. The constructivist process works best in social settings as students have the opportunity to compare and share their ideas with others. Learning occurs as students attempt to resolve conflicting ideas. Although social interaction is frequently accomplished in small group activities, discussions within the entire class provide students the opportunity to vocalize their knowledge and to learn from others. * Meaningful learning develops through "authentic" tasks. This aspect of constructivism is frequently misinterpreted. Using authentic tasks does not mean that we wait until a frog hops by to seize the opportunity to teach metamorphosis. It simply means that activities are chosen to simulate those that will be encountered in real life or in an assignment.

7 Background and Definitions
“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” (Confucius)

8 Background and Definitions
“One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it – you have no certainty until you try.” (Sophocles, 5th century B.C.)

9 Background and Definitions
“All genuine learning is active, not passive. It is a process of discovery in which the student is the main agent, not the teacher.” (Adler,1982)

10 Background and Definitions
“Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987)

11 Definition of Active Learning
“In the college classroom, active learning involves students doing things and thinking about what they are doing.” (Bonwell & Eison, 1991)

12 Characteristics of Active Learning

13 Passive Learning Play Movie

14 Activity 2: Gallery Walk
In your group, make a list of the characteristics of active learning. Post your list on the wall and walk around the room to view each groups’ list. Focused Listing – refer to handout

15 Characteristics of Active Learning
Students are involved in more than passive listening. Students are engaged in activities (e.g., reading, discussing, writing). There is less emphasis placed on information transmission and greater emphasis placed on developing student skills. There is greater emphasis placed on the exploration of attitudes and values. (Bonwell & Eison, 1991)

16 Characteristics of Active Learning
Student motivation is increased (especially for adult learners). Students can receive immediate feedback from their instructor. Students are involved in higher order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation). (Bonwell & Eison, 1991)

17 Characteristics of Active Learning
engaged in the learning process encouraged to “own” and construct knowledge provided with real-life connections and experiences required to think critically and creatively learning with reference to their different learning styles building on their prior knowledge/experience evaluated using multiple authentic assessment strategies (Biggs, J., 2003)

18 Examples of Active Learning

19 Activity 3: Focused Listing
In your group, make a list of examples of active learning. Rotate sharing examples on your list with the large group. Focused Listing – refer to handout

20 Examples of Active Learning
Interactive Lectures Group Projects Debates Simulations Games Presentations Field Trips Service Learning Discussion PBL Case Studies Research Papers Labs Collaborative Learning Concept Mapping Alternative Assessment

21 Passive & Active Learning
Receiving Information & ideas Passive Learning Experiences Doing Observing Active Learning Reflection what & how alone & group (Fink, 2003)

22 Faculty Role (Cannon, 2000) Teacher Centered students passive
teacher decisions emphasis on subject content only lecture based learning emphasis on content coverage teacher is content expert extrinsic motivation competitive & individual learning short-term learning teacher-focused assessments Student Centered students active student choices emphasis on integrated content inquiry based learning emphasis on learning activities teacher is facilitator intrinsic motivation cooperative learning lifelong learning student/peer-focused assessments (Cannon, 2000)

23 Planning Model (Fink, 2003) Learning Goals Teaching & Learning
Activities Feedback & Assessment Situational Factors (Fink, 2003)

24 Activity 4: Think-Pair-Share
Think: Take a moment to think about the examples of active learning and select one you think you could use in the classroom. Answer the following questions: Why did you choose this strategy? What preparation is required by the faculty and students? How does it change your role as the instructor?

25 Activity 4: Think-Pair-Share
Pair: Turn to the person next to you and explain your thoughts. Why did you choose this strategy? What preparation is required by the faculty and students? How does it change your role as the instructor?

26 Activity 4: Think-Pair-Share
Share: Report out to your small group. Why did you choose this strategy? What preparation is required by the faculty and students? How does it change your role as the instructor?

27 Benefits & Barriers

28 Activity 5: Electronic Polling
Question 3: What is the average attention span for students? 10 – 15 minutes 15 – 20 minutes 30 – 45 minutes 50 – 60 minutes

29 Activity 5: Electronic Polling
Question 4: After 24 hrs, what percent of information is retained by students in a lecture environment? 5 % 10% 20% 30% 50%

30 Activity 5: Electronic Polling
Question 5: After 24 hrs, what percent of information is retained by students in an active learning environment? 10% 20% 30% 50% 75%

31 Benefits (Souza, 2000)

32 Activity 6: Pro/Con Grid
In your group, make a list of the pros (benefits) and cons (barriers) of using active learning strategies in the classroom.

33 Benefits of Active Learning
Students are more engaged in learning. Students receive immediate feedback from instructor and other students. Students are more motivated and accept more responsibility for their learning. Students learn to work collaboratively with others from diverse backgrounds.

34 Barriers to Active Learning
You cannot cover as much course content as you can with the lecture method. Designing active learning strategies requires more pre-class preparation. It is more difficult to implement active learning strategies with large classes. Most instructors enjoy lecturing and believe that their lectures are effective (Bonwell, 1991)

35 Barriers to Active Learning
Active learning strategies often require materials or equipment that may not be readily available. Students often resist the use of active learning strategies. Using active learning strategies involves taking risks (Bonwell, 1991)

36 Activity 7: Brainstorming
In your group, brainstorm possible solutions to your assigned barrier. Share your solutions with the large group.

37 Overcoming Risks (Bonwell, 1991) Dimension Low-Risk Strategies
High-Risk Strategies Class Time Required Relatively short Relatively long Degree of Structure More structured Less structured Degree of Planning Meticulously planned Spontaneous Subject Matter Relatively concrete Relatively abstract Potential for Controversy Less controversial Very controversial Students’ Prior Knowledge of the Subject Matter Better informed Less informed the Teaching Techniques Familiar Unfamiliar Instructor’s Prior Experience with the Teaching Technique Considerable Limited Pattern of Interaction Between faculty and students Among students (Bonwell, 1991)

38 Overcoming Risks (Bonwell, 1991)
Students are Active/Lower Level of Risk Students are Active/Higher Level of Risk Role playing Small group presentations Individual presentations Guided imagery exercise Unstructured small group discussion Responsive lecture Small group discussion Guided lecture Demonstrations Self-assessments Brainstorming activities In-class writing Field trips Library tours Quizzes or tests Lecture with pauses Lecture with discussion Feedback lecture Surveys/questionnaires Think-Pair-Share Brainstorming 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 Level of Risk Invite a new guest speaker (Bonwell, 1991)

39 Implementing Active Learning Strategies
Individual Faculty

40 Individual Faculty Select one active learning strategy Set the stage
Prepare students Ask for feedback from students & peers Reflect on the experience Make modifications, if necessary (Modified from Felder, 1996)

41 Implementing Active Learning
Campus-Wide Models

42 Activity 8: Case Studies
Read the case at your table. Choose a recorder. Respond to the question(s) at the end of your case. Briefly summarize the implementation model to the large group.

43 Clayton State’s Model The faculty development model spans a five-year period, offering training at three different levels: Level 1  Half-day training to entire faculty led by external consultant  Internal grants for faculty to conduct discipline-specific classroom research projects and to meet biweekly to discuss the implementation of engagement strategies Analysis of results and dissemination of findings Level 2  Biweekly focus groups for faculty within each discipline to discuss and implement engagement strategies Peer review of faculty participating in the focus groups Level 3  Online, self-directed training modules for faculty to use as a resource on discipline-specific engagement strategies Analysis of results and dissemination of findings 

44 Faculty Development Grants
Purpose to award funds to faculty for conducting classroom research projects aimed at improving student success in learning; to provide structured opportunities for faculty to share best practice strategies related to student success; to disseminate classroom research findings.

45 Faculty Development Grants
Expectations 1st year: meet bi-weekly to share classroom experiences and to collect Student Success strategies; conduct a classroom research project; formally share Student Success Program experiences with CCSU faculty; present or publish classroom research findings at a conference or in a journal article. contribute at least six student success strategies to the online database

46 Active Learning Database

47 Faculty Development Grants
Expectations 2nd year: lead a monthly focus group; participate in peer observations of faculty. Incentives Stipends 1st year: $1,500; 2nd Year: $1,000 Credit for participation on Summary of Professional Activity and Promotion and Tenure Evaluation

48 Focus Groups Purpose to provide structured opportunities for faculty to implement the Student Success strategies collected by the grant recipients; to provide sharing opportunities for 6-10 faculty within each college/school to discuss their classroom experiences; to facilitate improved teach ing through peer observation and feedback.

49 Focus Groups Expectations Incentives
meet monthly to learn about Student Success strategies and to share classroom experiences; develop discipline-specific applications for at least two Student Success strategies and implement them in the classroom; participate in journal reflections and peer observations. Incentives Credit for participation on Summary of Professional Activity and Promotion and Tenure Evaluation

50 Activity 9: Fish Bowl Write down your questions on the index cards provided at each table. Place your index cards in the fish bowl. The workshop facilitator will respond to your questions by drawing cards from the fish bowl after break.

51 Activity 10: Reflective Journal
Complete the Inventory for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education on Active Learning Devise a plan for implementing active learning strategies in your teaching.

52 Bibliography Adler, Mortimer. (1982) The Paideia Proposal: An Educational Manifesto.New York: Collier Books. Biggs, J. (2003) Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does. 2nd edn. Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press. Bonwell, C.C. & Eison, J.A. (1991). Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1. Washington, D.C.: School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University. Cannon, Robert and Newble, David. (2000). A Handbook for Teachers in Universities & Colleges: a guide to improving teaching methods. London: Kogan Page. Chickering, A., & Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven principles of good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39, 3-7.

53 Bibliography Richard Felder, We Never Said It Would Be Easy North Carolina State University (1995). Columns/Noteasy.html Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Good, T., and J. Brophy. (1994). Looking in Classrooms (6th ed.). New York: Harper Collins. Jonassen, D. H. (1991) Objectivism versus constructivism: do we need a new philosophical paradigm? Educational Technology Research and Development, 39 (3), 5-14. Souza, "How the Brain Learns", (2000).

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