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Why are our students so passive in class? Better Content Learning through Active Engagement Jane Dillehay 10 August 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Why are our students so passive in class? Better Content Learning through Active Engagement Jane Dillehay 10 August 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why are our students so passive in class? Better Content Learning through Active Engagement Jane Dillehay 10 August 2011



4 Force of habit: we teach the way we were taught 1998 survey of 172,000 faculty (1) 76% listed lecture as primary instructional method = passive learning Current cognitive research leads to an Overwhelming number of strategies for active engagement and learning which equals Faculty paralysis

5 0092257

6 What is active learning? Students doing something besides attending a lecture and taking notes. Students may be communicating or working with each other, or writing, reading and reflecting individually to learn and apply course material. What is NOT active learning? Group study or group projects in which one or two students do all the work.

7 Research shows that: Effect of active learning on memory after two weeks: We remember 10% of what we read 30% of what we watch 90% of what we do (2) "Fears that students who had less exposure to lecture would learn less proved to be groundless” (3)

8 Research also shows improvements: Student-faculty interaction Student-student interaction Academic achievement Communication skills Higher-level thinking skills Teamwork Attitude towards the subject and motivation to learn. (4,5)

9 Connection between active engagement and SLOs? Language and Communication Critical Thinking Identity and Culture Knowledge and Inquiry Ethics and Social Responsibility

10 Why does active learning work? Individual students may get stuck on a problem and give up but groups tend to keep going Students learn alternative problem-solving strategies Students are more willing to ask and answer questions among themselves Students learn best when they teach each other

11 Why am I lecturing about active learning? Time to get to work! Several specific examples of active learning Activity 1 : How do you learn the rules of citations? Learn the abstract principles OR Learn by experiencing concrete examples for yourself?

12 Harvard style of citations (6) Aardvark, J.R. (1980). Ants, and how to eat them. Journal of Orycteropodidae Studies, 80, 11-17. Barker, R. (1982). Rum babas, and what to do if you’ve got them. Reading: Goodnight From Him. Izzard, E. (1998). Cake or Death? Gateaunomics, 10, 195-196. Lemur, R.-T. (2010). Strepsirrhinoplasty. Antananarivo: Rift Press. Ofleberger, E. (1996). Die Wesentlichen Ungewissheiten Zugehorig der Offenkundigen Mannlichkeit. Berlin: Bildungsverlag. Shorty, G. (in press). Okay, so they got me. Los Angeles: Cadillac. What are the rules for organizing this reference list? Identify five rules.

13 Some rules for Harvard style citations Surname followed by initials. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of journal (italics), its volume (italics), page numbers.

14 Activity 2. Writing a lab report What are the steps of the scientific method? Observation Hypothesis Experiment Results Conclusion

15 Activity 2 What are the steps of the lab report? Title Abstract Introduction Methodology Results Discussion Conclusion Literature Cited

16 To help you get started TITLE: Analysis of the distribution of cats per car: an illustration of the mutual exclusivity principle.

17 Activity 3: Pop quiz and memory test What % of faculty use lecture as the primary method of instruction? 76% We remember _ % of what we read __% of what we watch __% of what we do

18 What have we learned so far? What are our concerns about active learning? Student academic preparation: – Reading level and textbook – Work ethic and class preparation The activities are fun but use up limited class time - Just a few minutes of active learning  major differences in learning

19 And? I have a professional obligation to cover content - Active learning and memory 30% of what we watch 90% of what we do My course content does not fit these activities - Review your lectures and think of some things you want to ask your students

20 And? Students don’t like it – Tell them why you are doing this – Improved learning and better grades Lecturing is easy – Learning curve – start with small and simple activities – It takes time to develop your competence in active learning

21 Common mistakes Keep activities short (3-5 minutes) – Too much time is a waste of class time – Some finish in 3 minutes, others take forever Don’t call for volunteers to respond – If students know that anyone may be called to answer, they will do their best to be ready.

22 Your turn! Plan an activity for a course you will teach this fall. Pick an active learning approach (next slide) and develop an activity. Report back in five minutes to the class with your idea.

23 Some active learning approaches Think-pair-share – Individual work  pair up to discuss  share with class Multiple choice question – Small group discussion to choose correct answer Thinking-aloud pair problem solving – Explainer and questioner

24 What have you learned now? Planning for fall semester – try ONE thing! Develop one activity for each class to support a course concept

25 Time to wrap up Q and A TIME – any questions? Comments?

26 References 1. Finkelstein, M.J., R.K. Seal, and J. Schuster. 1998. The New Academic Generation: A Profession in Transformation. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press. 2. earning.htm earning.htm

27 References 3.Lewis, S.E. and J.E. Lewis. 2005. Departing form Lectures: An Evaluation of a Peer-Led Guided Inquiry Alternative. Journal of Chemical Education 82(1):135-39. 4.Barkley, E. 2010. Student Engagement Techniques. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco 5.Prince, M. 2004. Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Journal of Engineering Education 93(3);223-31.

28 References 6. 12/08/getting-learners-to-build-things- themselves-out-of-concrete-examples-that-is/

29 Other sources Silberman, M. 2005. 101 Ways to Make Training Active. Pfeiffer, San Francisco. Bean, J. 1996. Engaging Ideas. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. Blumberg, P. 2009. Developing Learner- Centered Teaching. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

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