Deepening Student Engagement with Active Learning Strategies

Report
Debra Rudder Lohe, Ph.D.
Director, Reinert Center
Saint Louis University
ASV Annual Meeting ~ July 21, 2013

Examining Assumptions
 Yours, Mine, Ours

Understanding Active Learning
 What, Why, How

Making Choices
 Goals, Objectives, Philosophies
This session will . . .

Introduce a range of “active learning” strategies
appropriate for varying types and sizes of classes

Provide examples of small, interactive lecture
techniques for efficient student engagement

Prepare you to make decisions about active
learning techniques appropriate for your context

Model active learning strategies
I.e., make
you do
stuff!
After this session you should be able to . . .

Identify a range of active learning strategies
appropriate for your own teaching situation

Explain why interactive techniques are
important for learning

Connect specific active learning strategies with
your goals for student learning and engagement
Yours, Mine, Ours

You care about teaching

You may not have been taught how to teach

You’re busy! And you’ve got “coverage” issues

You want deeper learning from students
 “Think like a virologist” vs. “Regurgitate stuff I tell you”

Students sometimes frustrate you
 And you sometimes frustrate them!

There is a lot of content to “cover”
 And it’s growing all the time?

The signature pedagogy is lecture
 Maybe with some discussion of primary literature

It happens in a lot of different contexts
 Graduate, undergraduate, and medical
 Small classes and large ones
 Labs, clinics, and other non-classroom “learning”
spaces
So . . .
what assumptions do you
make about “active learning”?

Learning is “active”

Students learn more (and more deeply) when they’re
engaged

Lots of things constitute “active learning” – and you
may already be doing some of them

Even very small active learning exercises can make a
difference

Active learning strategies can be applied in any
size/type class
What, Why, and How
“anything that students do in the classroom
other than merely passively listening to an
instructor’s lecture” (Paulson & Faust)
Active Learning activities are “instructional activities
involving students in doing things and thinking about
what they’re doing”
(Bonwell & Eison)
“Active learning means that the mind is actively engaged.
Its defining characteristics are that students are dynamic
participants in their learning and that they are reflecting
on and monitoring both the processes and the results of
their learning.” (Barkley)
It’s an approach, not
a specific method.
“The core elements of active learning are student
activity and engagement in the learning process.”
(Prince)
The Why: What do cognitive psychologists say?
“. . . active learning involves the development of cognition,
which is achieved by acquiring ‘organized knowledge
structures’ and ‘strategies for remembering, understanding,
and solving problems’ . . . . active learning entails a process of
interpretation, whereby new knowledge is related to prior
knowledge and stored in a manner that emphasizes the
elaborated meaning of these relationships.”
So, for cognitive psychology, this means doing 3 key things:
1.
Activating Prior Knowledge
2.
Chunking
3.
Practicing Meta-cognitive Awareness
Suzanne M. Swiderski
“Active Learning: A Perspective from Cognitive Psychology” (2010)
Ambrose et al.
Students’ prior knowledge helps / hinders new learning
How they organize knowledge influences how they learn
and apply what they know.
3. Motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do
to learn.
4. To develop mastery, students must acquire component
skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply
what they have learned.
5. Goal-directed practice, coupled with targeted feedback,
enhances the quality of learning.
6. Students’ current level of development interacts with the
social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to
impact learning.
7. To become self-directed learners, students must learn to
monitor and adjust their approaches to learning.
1.
2.
Ambrose et al.
Students’ prior knowledge helps / hinders new learning
How they organize knowledge influences how they learn
and apply what they know.
3. Motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they
do to learn.
4. To develop mastery, students must acquire component
skills, practice integrating them, and know when to
apply what they have learned.
5. Goal-directed practice, coupled with targeted feedback,
enhances the quality of learning.
6. Students’ current level of development interacts with the
social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to
impact learning.
7. To become self-directed learners, students must learn to
monitor and adjust their approaches to learning.
1.
2.
The Why: Average Retention Rate from
Different Teaching Methods
(% of learning students can recall after 24 hours)
2%
4%
7%
11%
18%
27%
31%
Lecture
Reading
Audiovisual
Demonstration
Discussion Group
Practice by Doing
Teach Others
Immediate Use of Learning
David A. Sousa
How the Brain Learns (2000)
Cited in Barkley, Student
Engagement Techniques
The Why: Average Retention Rate from
Different Teaching Methods
(% of learning students can recall after 24 hours)
2%
4%
7%
11%
18%
27%
31%
Lecture
Reading
Audiovisual
Demonstration
Discussion Group
Practice by Doing
Teach Others
Immediate Use of Learning
David A. Sousa
How the Brain Learns (2000)
verbal processing
verbal + visual processing
doing / applying
Cited in Barkley, Student
Engagement Techniques

We want the so-called “higher-order” cognitive skills,
not just repetition and regurgitation (à la Bloom)

Achieving higher levels of thinking requires students
to do something, to engage actively in the learning
process. Also, students learn best when they’re aware
of where they are on this pyramid (meta-cognitive).

Sitting passively in class won’t promote higher-order
thinking.

Neither will activities that only ask for remembering &
understanding. (Caution: misalignment)
The How:
What “active learning”
strategies do you already use?






Interactive Lectures
Problem-Based Learning
Case-Based Learning
Other Inquiry-Guided Learning
Service-Learning
Collaborative and Cooperative Learning






Interactive Lectures
Problem-Based Learning
Case-Based Learning
Other Inquiry-Guided Learning
Service-Learning
Collaborative and Cooperative Learning

Feedback Lecture

One-Minute Papers

Guided Lecture

Think / Pair / Share

Responsive Lecture

Other:

Pause Procedure

Lecture Quiz

ConcepTests
 Discussion
 Mini-Cases
 “Flipped” Classroom
Goals, Objectives, and Philosophies

Class size and/or type

Time (or lack of it!)

Student perceptions, motivation

Faculty perceptions, lack of knowledge

“Content tyranny” (Prince 2004)

Start with course goals and your student
learning objectives for each lecture / lesson.
 What’s the difference?

Consider your teaching situation.

Reflect on your teaching philosophy and
teaching style.

Start small – a little goes a long way, and you
need different things at different times

Consider whether you really are “losing”
something for content

Podcast lectures, have students doing things
in class

Begin to let students help prepare / teach /
model / demonstrate things in class

Provide rationale (so students know “why”)

Give them a little research on learning

Introduce Bloom; use to structure exams

Set expectation from the first day

Ask students to devise or propose activities
List all the concepts, ideas, points you can recall from
this session.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Identify the most important idea for your teaching.
Describe / define why it’s important for you / your courses.
Elaborate new questions it raises / calls to mind.
Apply the concept: how would you use it in class?
IDEA activity adapted from Feb 2010 issue of National Teaching and Learning Forum.
Debie Lohe
[email protected]
BLOOM
(1956)
ANDERSON & KRATHWOHL
(2001)
http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/4719
COURSE GOALS
LEARNING OBJECTIVES

General, broad

Specific, concrete

About you/course

About students

State what you or the
course will do / teach

State what students will
know and/or be able to do

Describe hopes & ideals
for student learning

Describe observable,
measurable actions

May describe kind of
learning experience

Can be cognitive, affective,
or psychomotor
Subject
Class
Teacher
Learner
Expert
Delegator
Facilitator
Anthony F. Grasha, Teaching with Style (1996)
Formal
Authority
Personal
Model

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