Why are our students so passive in class? Better Content Learning through Active Engagement Jane Dillehay 10 August 2011 Force of habit: we teach the way we were taught • 1998 survey of 172,000 faculty (1) • 76% listed lecture as primary instructional method = passive learning • Current cognitive research leads to an • Overwhelming number of strategies for active engagement and learning which equals • Faculty paralysis http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/3 0092257 What is active learning? • Students doing something besides attending a lecture and taking notes. • Students may be communicating or working with each other, or writing, reading and reflecting individually to learn and apply course material. • What is NOT active learning? • Group study or group projects in which one or two students do all the work. Research shows that: • Effect of active learning on memory after two weeks: • We remember 10% of what we read • 30% of what we watch • 90% of what we do (2) • "Fears that students who had less exposure to lecture would learn less proved to be groundless” (3) Research also shows improvements: • • • • • • • Student-faculty interaction Student-student interaction Academic achievement Communication skills Higher-level thinking skills Teamwork Attitude towards the subject and motivation to learn. (4,5) Connection between active engagement and SLOs? • • • • • Language and Communication Critical Thinking Identity and Culture Knowledge and Inquiry Ethics and Social Responsibility Why does active learning work? • Individual students may get stuck on a problem and give up but groups tend to keep going • Students learn alternative problem-solving strategies • Students are more willing to ask and answer questions among themselves • Students learn best when they teach each other Why am I lecturing about active learning? • Time to get to work! • Several specific examples of active learning Activity 1 : How do you learn the rules of citations? Learn the abstract principles OR Learn by experiencing concrete examples for yourself? Harvard style of citations (6) • Aardvark, J.R. (1980). Ants, and how to eat them. Journal of Orycteropodidae Studies, 80, 11-17. • Barker, R. (1982). Rum babas, and what to do if you’ve got them. Reading: Goodnight From Him. • Izzard, E. (1998). Cake or Death? Gateaunomics, 10, 195-196. • Lemur, R.-T. (2010). Strepsirrhinoplasty. Antananarivo: Rift Press. • Ofleberger, E. (1996). Die Wesentlichen Ungewissheiten Zugehorig der Offenkundigen Mannlichkeit. Berlin: Bildungsverlag. • Shorty, G. (in press). Okay, so they got me. Los Angeles: Cadillac. What are the rules for organizing this reference list? Identify five rules. Some rules for Harvard style citations • Surname followed by initials. • (Year of publication). • Title of article. • Title of journal (italics), its volume (italics), page numbers. Activity 2. Writing a lab report • • • • • • What are the steps of the scientific method? Observation Hypothesis Experiment Results Conclusion Activity 2 • • • • • • • • • What are the steps of the lab report? Title Abstract Introduction Methodology Results Discussion Conclusion Literature Cited To help you get started • TITLE: Analysis of the distribution of cats per car: an illustration of the mutual exclusivity principle. Activity 3: Pop quiz and memory test • What % of faculty use lecture as the primary method of instruction? • 76% • We remember _ % of what we read • __% of what we watch • __% of what we do What have we learned so far? • What are our concerns about active learning? • Student academic preparation: – Reading level and textbook – Work ethic and class preparation • The activities are fun but use up limited class time - Just a few minutes of active learning major differences in learning And? • I have a professional obligation to cover content - Active learning and memory 30% of what we watch 90% of what we do • My course content does not fit these activities - Review your lectures and think of some things you want to ask your students And? • Students don’t like it – Tell them why you are doing this – Improved learning and better grades • Lecturing is easy – Learning curve – start with small and simple activities – It takes time to develop your competence in active learning Common mistakes • Keep activities short (3-5 minutes) – Too much time is a waste of class time – Some finish in 3 minutes, others take forever • Don’t call for volunteers to respond – If students know that anyone may be called to answer, they will do their best to be ready. Your turn! • Plan an activity for a course you will teach this fall. • Pick an active learning approach (next slide) and develop an activity. • Report back in five minutes to the class with your idea. Some active learning approaches • Think-pair-share – Individual work pair up to discuss share with class • Multiple choice question – Small group discussion to choose correct answer • Thinking-aloud pair problem solving – Explainer and questioner What have you learned now? • Planning for fall semester – try ONE thing! • Develop one activity for each class to support a course concept Time to wrap up • Q and A TIME – any questions? Comments? References 1. Finkelstein, M.J., R.K. Seal, and J. Schuster. 1998. The New Academic Generation: A Profession in Transformation. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press. 2. http://courses.science.fau.edu/~rjordan/active_l earning.htm References 3. Lewis, S.E. and J.E. Lewis. 2005. Departing form Lectures: An Evaluation of a Peer-Led Guided Inquiry Alternative. Journal of Chemical Education 82(1):135-39. 4. Barkley, E. 2010. Student Engagement Techniques. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco 5. Prince, M. 2004. Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research. Journal of Engineering Education 93(3);223-31. References 6. http://finiteattentionspan.wordpress.com/2010/ 12/08/getting-learners-to-build-thingsthemselves-out-of-concrete-examples-that-is/ Other sources • Silberman, M. 2005. 101 Ways to Make Training Active. Pfeiffer, San Francisco. • Bean, J. 1996. Engaging Ideas. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. • Blumberg, P. 2009. Developing LearnerCentered Teaching. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.