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Engaging Students in Learning: Active Learning Strategies Emad Mansour

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1 Engaging Students in Learning: Active Learning Strategies Emad Mansour
3/3/2012 Engaging Students in Learning: Active Learning Strategies Graduate Teaching Assistant Fellows Program Follow up workshop Emad Mansour 3 /3/ 2012

2 By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
3/3/2012 Goals By the end of this session, participants will be able to: Describe a number of Active Learning Strategies Apply a number of Active Learning Strategies

3 What is active learning?
3/3/2012 What is active learning? “Instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing." Bonwell and Eison (1991)

4 Active learning is built upon two basic assumptions:
3/3/2012 Active learning is built upon two basic assumptions: that learning is by nature an active endeavor

5 3/3/2012

6 Active learning is built upon two basic assumptions:
3/3/2012 Active learning is built upon two basic assumptions: (b) that different people learn in different ways. (Gardner, 1983)

7 The 7 principles of excellent teaching:
3/3/2012 The 7 principles of excellent teaching: Encourages student-Instructor contact Encourages cooperation among student Encourages active learning Give prompt feedback Emphasizes time on task Communicates high expectation Respect diverse talents/ways of learning

8 Introduction: Gain Attention
Direction: know exactly what they are to do Activity: to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes Practice and feedback Retention and transfer: of new learning 3/3/2012

9 Some individual Active Learning Strategies
3/3/2012 Some individual Active Learning Strategies Question to group Write a question Write a response to a question

10 Some individual Active Learning Strategies
Write an example What do you do next? One minute paper The muddiest point Voting One page lecture summaries Paraphrasing List pros and cons Daily or weekly journal

11 Some Group/Collaborative ALS
Think-pair-share Demonstrations Brainstorming Role playing Buzz groups Fishbowls Jigsaw Debate Simulations, games

12 Active Learning Continuum
3/3/2012 Presentations, debates, role playing activities Small group interaction Having students engage in writing activities followed by Instructor use of discussion Instructor use of questions to engage students in personal exploration of material Asking questions at appropriate times during presentation Monitoring one's level of understanding and writing questions in notes when confused Making sustained effort to take non literal notes (paraphrasing) Sitting in class inattentively (episodes of daydreaming and periods of attentiveness to lecture, listening occasionally and taking literal notes) Piccinin, 2009

13 Think-Pair-Share The teacher asks a question or presents a problem
3/3/2012 Think-Pair-Share The teacher asks a question or presents a problem Every student think individually for seconds. Students exchange ideas in pairs Students share their ideas with another pair of students or with the whole class Can be applied in any class size

14 Students subdivided into smaller groups of 3–4
3/3/2012 Buzz Groups Students subdivided into smaller groups of 3–4 Groups may be assigned same or different topic to discuss. After about 20 minutes of discussion, one member of each sub-group presents the findings of the sub-group to the whole group.

15 One Minute Paper A few minutes before end of class,
3/3/2012 One Minute Paper A few minutes before end of class, Professor asks students to take a clean sheet of paper (no name) and answer these two questions: 1- What was the most important thing you learned during this class? 2- What important question remains unanswered?

16 3/3/2012 The Muddiest Point Near end of lecture ask students to write what is least clear (muddiest) after today’s lecture/class. Students hand in sheets without names – similar to One Minute Paper- or use collection box Teacher identifies the most difficult aspects and elaborates more on these points, at beginning of next class

17 3/3/2012 Jigsaw Teamwork a general topic is divided into smaller, interrelated pieces (4-5) “Home groups”. each member of a team is assigned to read and become an expert on a different piece of the puzzle (individually or in "Expert Group“). Individual experts from each part teach the other team members about that puzzle piece.

18 Questions and questioning
3/3/2012 Questions and questioning Debate Case study

19 Questions and Questioning
Use at the beginning of the lecture to attract attention (interest approach) Use during lecture to explain materials in more depth Use during and at end of lecture to check for comprehensive

20 DOs and DON’Ts when asking questions
3/3/2012 DOs and DON’Ts when asking questions DOs: 1- Stimulate students thinking 2- Continuously evaluate students’ learning 3- Present question clearly so student is not confused 4- Present the same question to different students 5- Wait a few seconds before you answer it yourself 6- Give open-ended questions more frequently 7- Repeat student’s question 8- Praise the student for his/her participation 9- Always conclude with the correct answer

21 DOs and DON’Ts when asking questions
3/3/2012 DOs and DON’Ts when asking questions DON’Ts: 1- Use the question for punishment/ embarrassing 2- Over use close-ended questions (yes/no), follow with WHY 3- Direct question to a specific person (unless….) 4- Let students answer right away. 5- Point with index finger to a student when asking 6- Direct question based on students seating or alphabetically 7- Embarrass students who do not get the right answer 8- Give possible answers or options 9- Turn your back to student when he/she starts answering. 10- Stand close to the students when they start answering 11- Focus questions on specific part of the lecture

22 3/3/2012 Debate A process of considering multiple viewpoints and arriving at a Judgment one-on-one debate. team debates Assign teams: Affirmative team & the Negative team Arguments from both sides need to be supported with facts and examples. Clarify with students how they will be Judged (Rubric) May be used as assessment or a summative activity (Freeley & Steinberg, 2005)

23 Debate Affirmative Team Negative Team Judge (student) Judge (student) AUDIENCE

24 3/3/2012 Case study Help students analyze, critique, make judgments, speculate, express reasoned opinions, articulate their point of view, listen to others, bring about consensus, summarize, and then present their findings and their decisions. Cases must be written Relate to learning objectives Real or invented, but realistic and believable Enough to be credible, but not so complete Provide ( 2-3) questions Often there is not a “correct” decision. Not a yes or not issue

25 3/3/2012 Case Study You walked into a large field of a wheat 3 weeks after planting and noticed that there were lots of missing plants. You questioned the owner (Mr. Johns) as to the watering, fertilizer, and planting date. You learn the plants rain were not somewhat sufficient, plants received fertilizer at planting. Mr. John told you that he bought the seeds from a neighbor who was storing these seeds from last year and they had a bit of insect infestation. The farmer also chose use only minimum plowing to avoid soil erosion. What do you think the possible reasons for missing plants in this field? What you will do to solve the problem?

26 Active Learning in Large Classes Advantages and disadvantages for
3/3/2012 Advantages and disadvantages for Students Professor

27 AL Strategies for Use in Large Classes
Ice Breakers/Get Acquainted Activities/Getting to Know Others Have students meet those in rows behind/in front Ask students to write an example Ask a question Ask students to write a question

28 AL Strategies for Use in Large Classes (cont’d)
Voting Demonstrations One minute paper The muddiest point Brainstorming Buzz groups Think-pair-share

29 Active Learning in Large Classes
3/3/2012 Active Learning in Large Classes

30 From professor’s point of view
3/3/2012 Barriers to using ALS From professor’s point of view Fear of trying something new Lecture time is short Large number of students in the class Lack of equipment or facilities Fear of lack of students’ participation Difficulty to create assignment that use higher-order thinking skills Need to cover content Students will not learn enough Lack of experience is managing discussion Fear of peer critique for going against norms Fear of losing control of class ………….

31 b) From students’ point of view
3/3/2012 Barriers to using ALS b) From students’ point of view

32 For successful ALS application:
3/3/2012 For successful ALS application: Clear link to class/course objectives Use appropriate strategy for each topic Clarity of instructions (before “GO”) Control over process (stop signal) Flexibility of outcomes Good follow up during application

33 Final Tips Start Small Start early Plan Experiment Expect resistance
3/3/2012 Final Tips Start Small Start early Plan Experiment Expect resistance Practice, practice, practice Play! Use different strategies Evaluate Adjust

34 3/3/2012 Compare to the 7 principles The 7 principle of good teaching include (contact between prof and students, cooperation among students, active learning, prompt feedback, time on task, communicate high expectation and respect diversity and different learning styles)

35 Thank you Emad Mansour Biggio Center, RBD Library eam0028@auburn.edu
3/3/2012 Thank you Emad Mansour Biggio Center, RBD Library References 1-Buehl.D.(2001),classroom Strategies for Interactive Learning, The International Reading Association, Inc. 2-Fisher,D.et al (2007),50 Content Area Strategies for Adolescent Literacy ,Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Pearson Prentice Hall .


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