Active Learning - Virginia Western Community College

Report
Active Learning
Ann Moser
Active Learning
• Includes any activity in which every student
must think, create, or solve a problem.
• One activity you do that, under this definition,
is active.
The New Bloom
My Class: Grammar
• By college-age, learning this foundation skill takes
action on my part and his.
• My part
– Isolate errors, starting with the most egregious.
• Poke, prod, threaten to convince him of the worth of his
extra-involvement
• Become his coach
• Show him how to be a life-long learner
– Develop a plan of action
• For this student, it was a MOOC
• Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the
Trade (Fundamental English Writing)
• https://www.coursera.org/course/basicwriting
What was your best learning
experience?
• Something from a college class that you still remember
today.
• How was it taught?
For me, Microbiology. Growing and identifying bacteria.
How? I had to grow it. Figure out what it wanted and watched the gunk grow;
saw it under a microscope; drew it; researched what it could do in the real world;
clean up after it without infecting myself and others.
Still remember the terms, the names, the images.
E. coli
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Food poisoning
Vomiting
Pneumonia
Cramps
Also occurs in sympatico in humans
Wash hands
Techniques I Have Used
• List of their expectations. Attitude survey.
Background knowledge they are starting with.
• In-class writing. Especially after a question. Give
people time to think before answering. Builds
trust.
• Reaction statements. Gives students a chance to
freely respond to a concept, reading, assignment.
First, overall reaction. In your own words. Don’t
need to explain:
Student log that begins with reaction
statement:
• People today often think of the Puritans as dull, joyless stoics who did
nothing but study Scripture and pray. However, this is a poorly
reconstructed image of the Puritans, one which Puritans themselves
would desire to avoid. Anne Bradstreet’s poetry depicts a person with a
strong commitment to Puritan theology but also a realistic life of praise to
God, regardless of her circumstances. The theme that I saw throughout
several of Bradstreet's poems is her dependence and calm trust in God
despite her adverse circumstances.
•
First, in “An Epitaph on My Dear and Ever-Honoured Mother Mrs.
Dorothy Dudley,” Anne celebrates the life her mother lived, praising her
mom for her loving life life to the people around her. She describes her
mom as “A loving mother and obedient wife, / A loving neighbor, pitiful to
poor,” (“Mother” 2-3). She also praises her mother's intense devotion to
God's word and prayer when she says, “And in her closet constant hours
she spent; / Religious in all her words and ways,” (“Mother” 11-12.) Rather
than focus on the sadness she surely felt at her mother's passing,
Bradstreet instead focused on celebrating the testimony her mother lived
and the legacy that lived on afterward.
Techniques, con’t
• Authentic assignments
– Elizabeth’s paper was a product of an authentic
assignment
– Real purpose
– Real audience
– = real essay
For any topic chosen, require brainstorming, proposal,
feedback, audience profile, purpose.
Con’t
• Presentations
– Teach a concept to the class
– Present research from a research project. Focus
narrows, documentation is clarified. Purpose of
research becomes real.
– Has to include a visual
– Has to engage the audience
• Discussion leaders
– You may need to lecture, but a discussion leader
prepares to guide the class (or groups) on subtopics in the lecture.
• Students bring outside illustrations/examples
of a concept being worked on.
– Log credit, homework credit, participation credit
– Several offer their examples and explain
Discussion Board
• Logs, in my class, are presented on the Discussion
Board. Step-by-step practice of critical analysis.
– Good place to go back and review how others
analyzed a story or poem. How analysis built the
interpretation.
– Credit for responses
– Instructor has to be one of the responders, showing
what that means, how to do it, what it should look
like, wording, tone, use of examples.
Discussion Board
• Choose the best post in the forum and defend
answer.
• One student summarizes the posts on Discussion
Board forum
– Uses specific references to particular posts that back
the overall summary purpose.
– How did that change your idea, perspective,
interpretation?
– Good extra credit challenge.
Group Work
• Has to be modeled first—
• Conferences with each group
• Present a model group for the class
• Panopto group work
• Learn how to be a working group. How to take turns,
offer ideas, language used, how to talk in your field.
Active Involvement
• Teach them how to annotate a text.
• Students contribute to PowerPoint lecture by adding to
lecture slides.
• Do field research and report back. Helps them to
observe the point of the content covered. How it is
applied elsewhere. Clarifies documentation of source.
• Want them to understand how writing is done in your
field? Have them deconstruct a journal article. X-ray it,
question it, annotate, outline, react, summarize, follow
through on some of the documentation.
• Paper, project, research that requires
interview(s).
• Create scenarios.
– My class: Cast a movie of a story/novel we are
reading.
– How would you get Ferris Bueller involved in class?
“The one doing the talking is the one doing the
learning.”

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