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Active Learning Theory

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Ablconnect. Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too, Study Finds. Are your lectures droning on? Change it up every 10 minutes with more active teaching techniques and more students will succeed, researchers say. A new study finds that undergraduate students in classes with traditional stand-and-deliver lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes that use more stimulating, so-called active learning methods. “Universities were founded in Western Europe in 1050 and lecturing has been the predominant form of teaching ever since,” says biologist Scott Freeman of the University of Washington, Seattle. But many scholars have challenged the “sage on a stage” approach to teaching science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses, arguing that engaging students with questions or group activities is more effective. To weigh the evidence, Freeman and a group of colleagues analyzed 225 studies of undergraduate STEM teaching methods.

Freeman says he’s started using such techniques even in large classes. An Introduction to Activity Theory. Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. How I Used Wikis to Get My Students to Do Their Readings. Ulises A. Mejias We have heard the complaint or issued it ourselves one too many times: “They don’t read!” After carefully planning and selecting the reading materials, we get to class only to find that students—those who actually bothered to crack open the book—did not get past page three because the reading was “boring,” or “too long,” or the author “could have said the same thing in fewer words.” We have appointed the blame for this evil on different things at different times: the educational system, television, the cynicism of the 80s, the apathy of the 90s, and more recently, of course, the Internet and the socialized stupidity it seems to be breeding (Carr).

But can Digital Media provide some simple pedagogical models to promote a more active engagement with that most ancient and passive form of learning: the reading assignment? What is a Wiki? In 1994, Ward Cunningham came up with an elegant solution: the Wiki. My Experience with Wikis The Assignment Examples Blended Learning Carr, N. Interactive and Active Learning. By Sean Cornell, Geography-Earth Science, Shippensburg University Tim Heaton, Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota Bill Hirt, Natural Sciences, College of the Siskiyous Aurora Pun, Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico Perry Sampson, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan authored as part of the 2010 workshop, Teaching Geoscience Online - A Workshop for Digital Faculty Jump down to: Practical Considerations | Individual Activities | Collaborative Activities | An Example of a Collaborative Activity Justification Research has shown that online instruction, including hybrid courses that involve some face-to-face instruction coupled with online components, can be just as effective as traditional face-to-face courses in providing high-quality learning experiences (Dept. of Education, 2009).

There are many resources on the web that speak to best teaching practices for teaching online. Practical considerations Individual activities. Active and Coopeative Learning. The past decade has seen an explosion of interest among college faculty in the teaching methods variously grouped under the terms 'active learning' and 'cooperative learning'.

However, even with this interest, there remains much misunderstanding of and mistrust of the pedagogical "movement" behind the words. The majority of all college faculty still teach their classes in the traditional lecture mode. Some of the criticism and hesitation seems to originate in the idea that techniques of active and cooperative learning are genuine alternatives to, rather than enhancements of, professors' lectures. We provide below a survey of a wide variety of active learning techniques which can be used to supplement rather than replace lectures. We are not advocating complete abandonment of lecturing, as both of us still lecture about half of the class period. "Active Learning" is, in short, anything that students do in a classroom other than merely passively listening to an instructor's lecture. The Evolution of a Biology Course. Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education is for the academic success of all students.

As the National Resource Center for Learning Communities, we believe that learning communities—done well—create a collaborative environment where students thrive, faculty and staff do their best work, and learning fosters the habits of mind and skills to tackle complex real-world issues. In our work with two- and four-year institutions in Washington state and throughout the country, we serve as a conduit between our home institution, The Evergreen State College, and the wider community where the exchange of knowledge serves a common purpose: to provide a quality education for all. Regional Network—Spring Events 5th Annual Best Practices Symposium—Sharing the Wealth: Building on What Works April 4, 2014—Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL Sponsored by the Consortium for Illinois Learning Communities (CILC) The Problem with Lecturing. Back in the late 1970s a colleague came to David Hestenes with a problem. The two of them were physics professors at Arizona State University.

Hestenes was teaching mostly graduate students, but his colleague was teaching introductory physics, and the students in his classes were not doing well. Semester after semester, the class average on his exams never got above about 40 percent. "And I noted that the reason for that was that his examination questions were mostly qualitative, requiring understanding of the concepts," says Hestenes. Most professors didn't test for this kind of understanding; students just had to solve problems to pass the exams. This observation prompted a series of conversations between Hestenes and his colleague about the difference between being able to solve problems and really understanding the concepts behind those problems. They had a sneaking suspicion students were just learning the problem-solving part and never really getting the concepts. Taking It to Heart. Active Learning -- Introduction. Introduction Before we begin, let’s review what we know about active learning.

Although the traditional lecture format still dominates the college classroom, students need to be able to do more than listen and write down exactly what they hear and regurgitate that lecture in writing on an exam. Students need higher level thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. 1Schwartz, D. L. & Bransford, J. D. (1998) A time for telling. For more information about active learning and online teaching, take a look at the following videos: Active Learning Online - Why Use Active Learning? Active Learning is one of the seven principles established in "Seven principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" (1987, AAHE Bulletin). In The Seven principles in Action, Susan Rickey Hatfield, editor, David G. Brown and Curtis W. Ellison explain: Mel Silberman contrasts Active Learning and memorization: Silberman explains that learning comes "in waves" through repeated exposures of different kinds involving multiple senses.

Many Active Learning strategies involve collaboration with peers, providing a secure environment for growth and exploration of ideas. What Is Active Learning? Defining "active learning" is a bit problematic. The term means different thing to different people, while for some the very concept is redundant since it is impossible to learn anything passively. Certainly this is true, but it doesn't get us very far toward understanding active learning and how it can be applied in college classrooms. We might think of active learning as an approach to instruction in which students engage the material they study through reading, writing, talking, listening, and reflecting. Active learning stands in contrast to "standard" modes of instruction in which teachers do most of the talking and students are passive. Think of the difference between a jar that's filled and a lamp that's lit.

In the former case, liquid is poured into an empty vessel–an apt metaphor for the traditional educational paradigm in which students sit passively in a classroom and absorb the knowledge transmitted by an expert. Basic Elements of Active Learning Talking and Listening Writing. Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Inventing a New Kind of College. There are many reasons professors who lecture don't want to give it up. Tradition may be the mightiest force. "Lecturing is just the way a lot of professors have always done it," says Joe Redish, a physicist at the University of Maryland, College Park who has done research on why lectures aren't effective. "A lot of [them] are not excited about the idea that they might have to move out of their comfort zone," he says.

Plus, professors are under pressure to publish. "Your research matters," Redish says. This is the message Redish got from his department when he started teaching in 1970, and he says it's still the message young faculty get today. "Until the perception of the quality of a department begins to depend on how innovative and creative it is in teaching," he says, there's not going to be much incentive for professors to try new approaches. Even at liberal arts colleges where teaching is more of a focus, professors are under pressure to produce research. A Clean Slate. Active/Cooperative Learning. References for Further Information 1. Chickering, A., and Gamson, Z. (1987) "Seven Principles for Good Practice," AAHE Bulletin, 39:3–7, ED 282 491, 6pp, MF-01; PC-01. 2. Chickering, A., and Gamson, Z. (1987) "Seven Principles for Good Practice," AAHE Bulletin, 39:3–7, ED 282 491, 6pp, MF-01; PC-01. 3.

Bonwell, C., and Eison, J. (1991) "Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom," ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1. 4. 5. Web Resources Cooperative Learning Center at the University of Minnesota: The web site contains a number of articles describing the fundamentals of cooperative learning, the research support for cooperative learning, and different teaching strategies based on the fundamentals of cooperative learning. Active-Learning-Site.Com Research Summaries: The web page summarizes three research articles that can inform classroom practice and demonstrate the value of active learning approaches.

Interactive-Engagement vs. Evidence for Active Learning Hake, R.R. (1988).