Incorporating Active Learning into Your Classroom Tony Sindelar & Victoria WallaceInstructional Designers, Office of the Provost MGH IHP
Goals1) Develop an understanding of the value and intent ofactive learning2) Explore a range of active learning strategies3) Consider how you would incorporate Active Learning intoyour own courses.
Agenda1:00-1:50 Basic Active Learning Strategies and Techniques2:00-2:50 Team Based Learning3:00-4:00 Overcoming Challenges in adopting Active Learning
For a minute or two, think of a lecture that has always stayed with you Share that idea with the people at your tableAdapted from Mary Zedecks presentation on "Create an active classroom through technology" May 25, 2010 Seton Hall University
Now, think of a learningexperience you had that was not a lecture, that you have always recalled. Why has it stayed with you? Share that idea with the people at your tableAdapted from Mary Zedecks presentation on "Create an active classroom through technology" May 25, 2010 Seton Hall University
Cone of Learning adapted from Edgar Dale (1946) http://www.studygs.net/activelearn.htm
Learning is not a spectator sport.Students do not learn much just bysitting in class listening to teachers,memorizing prepackaged assignments,and spitting out answers. They must talkabout what they are learning, write aboutit, relate it to past experiences, apply it totheir daily lives. They must make whatthey learn part of themselves.Chickering, A & Gamson, Z. F. (March 1987) Sevenprinciples for good practice. AAHE Bulletin 39: 3-7.
Examples of Active Learning ActivitiesRead 7-8 and discuss which could be the most applicable/useful in your teaching. http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/strategies/index.html
Components of Team-Based LearningTeam FormationAssessments (Readiness Assurance Tests)Team Activity or ProjectPeer EvaluationTeam-Based Learning as described by Larry Michaelsen (2002).Further reading: The Essential Elements of Team-Based Learning http://medsci.indiana.edu/c602web/tbl/reading/michaelsen.pdf
Project time!Give us a minute to divide you into teams.
Marshmallow Tower ChallengeYour task: Using the materials provided, buildthe tallest freestanding structure that cansupport a single marshmallow.*Materials: 20 pieces of spaghetti, string,masking tape, and a single marshmallow.You have 18 minutes!*Use a much or as little of your materials as needed. You cant use the bag. You cant alter the marshmallow. Themarshmallow has to be at the top. The structure has to be freestanding.
What challenges might you encounter?Share your ideas with the people at your table
Some ChallengesStudent resistance to active learningStudent complaints about active learningClassroom under control during active learningManaging class time and contentStudents having difficulty working togetherEnsuring peer reviews are taken seriously University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning
Challenge #1: Student ResistanceNew experienceUncomfortable, resentful, resistantResistance might be seen as challenge to authority
Activity One University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learninghttp://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/scene1/index.html See handout for Activity related to videos
Observations from VideosNew concept and format to the studentsRoles have changedOutside the comfort zoneClearly explain WHY using active learningConfidence and positive attitude
Overcome Student Resistance● Set expectations early in the term.● Use active learning frequently and commit.● Give clear instructions.● Explain benefits and why youre using active learning● Commit to using active learning.● Manually break students into groups.● Start small and simple. Use low-impact strategies
Challenge #2: Student ComplaintsStudent and instructor roles shiftWhy pay to teach myself?Teacher has lack of knowledgeWhy learn from other students when expert is in the room?
Activity Two University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learninghttp://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/scene2/index.html See handout for Activity related to videos
Observations from VideosNew roleDont wait or ignore complaintsUse as a ‘teachable moment’Explain why you have chosen active learning
Overcome Student Complaints● Address student complaints immediately, confidently.● Keep your comments positive.● Explain why youre using active learning.● Highlight what students have to gain.● View complaints as "teachable moments" that offer students opportunities to reflect on how they learn and how to improve those learning skills.
Challenge #3: Keeping ControlStudents are the primary focus not the the instructorInstructor’s role becomes mentor, facilitatorLoss of instructor control over the classChaotic classroomsStudents who stray off task
Activity Three University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learninghttp://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/scene3/index.html See handout for Activity related to videos
Observations from VideosTold students to ‘pair up’ before she finished directionsCould not make herself heardClearly articulate purpose,procedure, time limits, etc .
Overcome a Chaotic Classroom● No need to devote your entire session to active learning.● Keep it short and simple at first.● Use low impact strategies.● Activities must be well planned and executed.● Communicate goal, the outcomes, procedures, time limit.● Use strategies to keep control ; ringing a bell or flashing the lights.
Challenge #4: Managing time & content● Activity time vs. lecture time
Activity Four University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learninghttp://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/scene4/index.html See handout for Activity related to videos
Observations from Videos● Not adequately addressing current material or questions● Show sensitivity to the mood of the class● Present alternatives for addressing remaining content● Create support structures
Overcome time constraints● Consider your learning objectives carefully.● Prioritize content● What students complete outside of class?● Try one or two low stakes activities during lectures.● Use classroom assessment techniques (CATs) to assess learning and make adjustments.● Avoid racing through material to "finish it all" by the end of the period.● Just because you say it, doesnt mean they learn it.
Keys to Success● Be creative! Invent new strategies and adapt existing.● Start small and be brief.● Plan it, try it, collect feedback, revise it and try it again.● Start from the first day of class and stick with it.● Be explicit with students.● Vary student seating arrangements to increase their chances to work with different people.● Develop a signal for students to stop talking.● Randomly call on pairs to share.● Collaborate with colleagues.● Do not give up! Continue learning through workshops, reading, sharing, and practice. University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning