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Promoting Active Learning Inside and Outside the Classrooms Teaching Development Grant Sharing Session (15 December 2009)

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Presentation on theme: "Promoting Active Learning Inside and Outside the Classrooms Teaching Development Grant Sharing Session (15 December 2009)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Promoting Active Learning Inside and Outside the Classrooms Teaching Development Grant Sharing Session (15 December 2009)

2 Principal Investigator: Catherine Chiu; Research and Teaching Assistant: Valerie Yap AIS2020: Introduction to Sociology Project Objectives: 1.To promote the use of Classroom Assessment Tasks (CATs) and Blackboard as tools for learning. 2.To design and test learning activities 3.To monitor and assess the effectiveness and impact of the student learning activities

3 PART 1: Project Activities

4 Besides the usual group presentations and group discussions, other classroom assessment techniques (CATs) were carried out: Active Learning Inside the ClassroomActive Learning Outside the Classroom Application Cards Brainstorming Activity Debate Reflect-Group-Share Video Showing Course Preparation Assignment Individual Critique Paper Journal Writing Online Survey Discussion Board To aid students effectively learn an introductory course, students were involved in the learning process. Note: All learning activities except Video Showing and Discussion Board were awarded marks ranging from 1-3 points per activity.

5 Applying the CATs Application CardTo apply concepts and theories to social issues Example: Apply theoretical approaches to explain “workers going on strike” Brainstorming ActivityTo propose multiple ideas on how to solve an issue Example: How to engage men and women in achieving gender equality Course Preparation AssignmentTo distinguish concepts and theories as preparation prior to the class lecture Example: Can an interpretive sociologist be a conflict sociologist? Why or why not? DebateTo defend their position and appraise opposing views on a particular issue Example: Decline of traditional families in Hong Kong Discussion BoardForum for discussing and expressing any comments and views on the lecture and class activities Example: A new BBC poll has found widespread dissatisfaction with free-market capitalism. What is your reaction to the survey findings, and what is your view on capitalism?

6 Individual Critique PaperTo assess how well students critically evaluate the main points of a group presentation Example: Critique group presentation on “How "Mcdonaldization" is emerging and its impacts – emergence of a global culture?” Journal WritingTo interpret and question their observations or reflections on a social issue Example: Listing down your waste for a day and reflecting on what this says about your lifestyle Online SurveyTo assess students’ prior knowledge of a topic or issue; to serve as a supplement to the lecture Example: Gender Values Survey Reflect-Group-ShareTo independently formulate their opinion/views and share with a group Example: Which of the models of capitalism, namely market capitalism, managed capitalism and state capitalism will have more positive effects on democracy? Video ShowingTo analyze and relate the video content to the lecture Example: Global Environmental Issues

7 Example 1 Online Survey (Pre-class Activity) Purpose: To assess students’ prior knowledge of gender; to serve as a supplement to the lecture 1.Students answer the Gender Values Survey on Blackboard. 2.Students express and briefly explain their own views to statements relating to gender. 3.The findings are presented at an appropriate point in class. These will also be uploaded to Blackboard for the student’s reference. 4.The instructor links new information to the results. Students were given opportunities to talk, discuss, write and apply what they are learning.

8 Example 2 Application Card (In-class Activity) Purpose: To assess students’ ability to apply deviant theories to explain juvenile shoplifting 1.Students form groups of 4-5 2.Each group is assigned one deviant theory 3.Groups discuss and attempt to transfer what they have just learned to explain juvenile shoplifting 4.Groups share and receive feedback from the instructor and their classmates 5.At the end of class, worksheets are collected. Answers are compiled and summarized which will later be uploaded to Discussion Board.

9 Example 3 Individual Critique Paper (Post-class Activity) Purpose: To assess how well students critically evaluate the main points of a group presentation 1.Each student is assigned a presentation topic to critique. 2.After each presentation, students are given a week to analyze and interpret the presentation as well as express their own views on the given topic. 3.A week after, papers are marked and returned to the students with comments.

10 PART 2: Student Feedback A. Learning experience B. Course participation activities

11 Rating of Students’ Learning Experience Course Intended Learning Outcomes: Mode (n=22) Mean (n=22) I have gained a good knowledge of the basic sociological concepts and paradigms. 4 (64%)4.09 I have become more competent in examining social actions from a sociological point of view, instead of from an individualistic point of view. 4 (64%)3.82 I have learned to apply the sociological concepts and paradigms to analyzing social issues and everyday-life situations. 4 (68%)3.95 I made use of sociological literature and other reference materials in oral presentations as well as papers. 4 (68%)3.95 Note: (5 = strongly agree; 1 = strongly disagree)

12 Selective Feedback of Students’ Learning Experience “The course improved my way to analyze some social phenomenon. It teached me some theory on social events. And it is good and useful in doing term papers.” // “I learn many sociological concepts and I can apply them to the other projects in the future.” “This course really helps me to look into things from different perspectives, criticize things from different angles.” // “Course participation activities & content coverage help me understand more about sociology and help me to analyze social issues from a sociologist’s view.” “I like this course can help me understand myself more and on my attitude about the different form of society.”

13 Course Participation Activities Although half of the class consider themselves observant but not particularly active, 55% agreed that they feel encouraged to participate in class. 41% of students agreed that the format of the class (lecture, discussion/activity) was helpful to the way they learned.

14 Effectiveness of Course Participation Activities 68% agreed that class discussions help them understand key ideas in the course. 91% of the students stated that the class activity summaries posted on the Discussion Board were useful. Students expressed that the summaries can be used as a reference or to review what they have learnt in class. It is also found to be a nice way to conclude the lesson.

15 Rating of Teaching & Learning Activities Note: (5 = strongly agree; 1 = strongly disagree)Mode (n=22)Mean (n=22) I. Individual Learning Activities Course Preparation Assignment (CPA)4 (50%)3.83 Discussion Board3 (62%)3.24 Individual critique paper4=5 (36%)4.00 Journal writing3 (41%)3.55 Pre-class survey4 (50%)3.91 II. Group Learning Activities Application cards4 (64%)4.00 Brainstorming activity4 (59%)4.23 Debate4 (50%)3.95 Group discussion4 (55%)4.27 Group presentation/reporting4 (43%)3.81 Reflect-Group-Share activity4 (50%)3.95 III. Video showing Video showing4 (57%)4.24

16 Selective Feedback from Students Application Cards “To think deeply and widely of sociology not just theory but practical materials” // To put the theory or concepts into practice.” // “Helped me in reviewing my knowledge gained on lesson in the aspects of applying or understanding.” Course Participation Activities “I like the course participation activities as we can have enough time to share our opinions and have a free time to criticize, it can enhance our knowledge of sociology.” “I think the CPAs are useful as they let me to have self-reflection on many of the issues.” // “Help me to know more about what is teaching in class and have more knowledge on the topic” Course Preparation Assignment “Helps me to evaluate my understanding to the course.” // “Encourages self-learning.” Debate “Group the classmates into different groups according to their own perception on traditional family is really interesting as it allows me to see how others view and whether my view is the majority or minority. It advocates me to think whether my own view is the most correct.”

17 Group Discussions “Let us to think more about the content talked in the class (...) it seems that it is another way to revise the knowledge.” “I can get to know whether I understand or not.” “During the discussions, I can clarify many misunderstandings of lectures. It helps to make the lesson more interesting and interactive.” Reflect-Group-Share “Lets me know more about other’s opinion which help me understand more about the discussed topic.” // “I can learn how to respect other comments and ideas. I learn it is important to respect people’s whose opinions are different from us.” Video Showing “Lets me know thoroughly about the topic.” // “My memory about this will be held for longer time and it is better for me to study the course.” [con’t]

18 Conclusions Students had shown enthusiasm and interest in the course subject and the course participation activities. Benefits of the Course Participation Activities: 1.Student-centered 2.Maximize participation 3.Highly motivational (esp. group-related work) 4.Encourages self-learning We were able to use a number of CATs and determine which worked better in enhancing student participation and learning however there was still some imbalance in activities done inside and outside the classroom.


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