Active Learning: Thinking and DoingJoanne Chesley, Ed.DMay 26, 2009
What is the approach?What are the consequences?How do you engage effectively?What evidence is there that this approach is productive?How do you move from teacher- centered to learner-centered?
For a minute or two think of a lecture that has always stayed with you….if you can.What did you learn?
Think of a learning experience that you had at sometime that was not a lecture, that you have always recalled. Why has it stayed with you? What did you learn?
Active learning includes: DiscussionCooperative learningCollaborative learningProblem based learning Active, experiential learningCommunity or client based experiencesTrust to take risksGuide on the side, not sage on the stage
The learner-centered approach grows out of Cognitive-Structural Developmental Theories that look at received knowing, subjective knowing, procedural knowing, and constructed knowing (Belenky, 1986) and absolute knowing, traditional knowing and independent knowing (Magolda, 1992).
Since 1898 there have been over 600 experimental studies and 100 correlational studies of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic efforts. The findings tell us that cooperation compared to competition and individual efforts, typically results in: Greater efforts to achieve More positive relationships among students greater psychological health (Johnson, Johnson, Smith, 1998. Active Learning in the Classroom)
People learn in different settings We spend 14% of our time in school, 53% in home and community and 33% asleep. We should not negate the experiences one brings to the classroom from the home and community.
Faculty can begin to make this change by: 1) building learning communities 2) Redesigning their 25 most ‘top- down’, heavily enrolled courses
Improvements in Learning at Miami University: 5pt Likert scale; no impact to substantial impact n=395 responses/61% of invited research done in 2005/ based on the Teaching Goals Inventory, Angelo &Cross, 1993 Ability to work productively with others (3.5) Openness to new ideas (3.46) Capacity to think for oneself (3.44) Understanding of perspectives/values of course discipline (3.39) Ability to think holistically (3.39)
Ability to think creatively (3.38) Ability to synthesize and integrate information and ideas (3.37) Improved learning of concepts and theories (3.36) Problem solving skills (3.35) Ability to apply principles and generalizations already learned to new problems and situations (3.35)
Faculty responses yielded these results: Better class discussion and engagement (3.58) Better classroom atmosphere (3.50) Better papers and writing assignments (3.46) Students more interested (3.46) More successful achievement of the learning objectives (3.38)
What worked? Faculty reported: Experiential Learning (4.07) Student-centered learning (3.99) Discussion (3.84) Cooperative or Collaborative (3.84) Writing (3.54)