Active Learning Strategies and Techniques. Nancy Allen, Ph.D. College of Education Qatar University. Workshop Objectives. By the end of this workshop, participants are expected to be able to: Investigate current research related to how people learn.
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Nancy Allen, Ph.D.
College of Education
By the end of this workshop, participants are expected to be able to:
Learning style is simply the way a person prefers to process information.
There are many print-based and online quizzes for determining personal learning style.
Think, Pair, Share
*William J. Clinton.Remarks by the President to the National Association of Attorneys General. March 12, 1998. (retrieved 23 Dec. 2004).
(a) have a deep foundation of factual knowledge,
(b) understand facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework, and
(c) organize knowledge in ways that facilitate retrieval and application.
Transfer is the ability to use what is learned in one setting (e.g. school) in new settings (e.g. life situations)
“We know that learning is a matter of making connections between the brain cells and that the experiences our student have shape their brains.… the strongest connections are often made through concrete experience (constructionist learning). Pat Wolfe Ed. D
The Importance of Active Learning
2 ways to build learning and memory
Ready for flight or fight;
Teacher is active
2. Learning is “poured” into the student by reading or lecturing.
3. Textbook Driven
4. Drill – Rote Memory
5. Practice - Rote
6. Student is observing.
Student is active
3. Sources - Library
4. Concrete Experience
Trial and Error Learning- Correct Mistakes
Teacher FacilitatorEducational Philosophies
It is a process whereby learners are actively engaged in the learning process, rather than "passively" absorbing lectures. Active learning involves reading, writing, discussion, and engagement in solving problems, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
-A multi-directional learning experience in which learning occurs teacher-to-student, student-to-teacher, and student-to-student.
- Activity-based learning experiences: whole class involvement, teams, small groups, trios, pairs, individuals.
Knowledge: recalling or remembering specific facts, information, or general concepts without necessarily understanding .
Comprehension: involves understanding learned material. Demonstrating ability to grasp meaning, explain, and restate ideas.
Application: demonstrating ability to use learned material in new situations, to put ideas and concepts to work in solving problems.
Analysis: involves breaking down information into its component parts to see interrelationships and ideas.
Synthesis: ability to put together separate ideas to form a new whole, establish new relationships.
Evaluation: involves judging the value of evidence based on definite criteria.
©Raymond S. Pastore, Ph.D.
Purpose: Generate as many answers to the question as possible.
Unlike other versions of brainstorming that you may have experienced, this one involves taking turns and having teammates contribute one answer at a time.
Indicates our preferences for taking information into the brain and communicating them "outside.”
What is your “preferred” learning style? Or are you multimodal?
Does your preferred learning style affect the way you are teaching? If yes, how?
Active learners like group work, learn through doing: discussing, explaining, and applying.
Reflective learners prefer working alone, like to think quietly.
Sensing learners prefer learning facts, like solving problems by well-established methods, dislike complications and surprises, are patient with details and good at memorizing facts and doing hands-on work, are practical and careful, prefer learning that relates to the real world.
Intuitive learners prefer to discover possibilities and relationships, like innovation and dislike repetition, grasp new concepts quickly, are comfortable with abstractions and mathematical formulations, are innovative and work quickly, dislike memorization and routine calculations.
Visual learners remember best what they see (pictures, diagrams, flow charts, time lines, films, and demonstrations).
Verbal remember best what they hear and read.
Sequential learners gain understanding in linear steps, each step following logically from the previous one; tend to follow logical stepwise paths in finding solutions.
Global learners tend to learn in large jumps, absorbing material almost randomly without seeing connections, and then suddenly "getting it," are able to solve complex problems quickly or put things together in novel ways once they have grasped the big picture, but they may have difficulty explaining how they did it.
Verbal/Linguistic “plays with words” Good with language. Needs to hear, see and say words associated with the desired outcome.
Logical/Mathematical “plays with questions” Good at math, logic and problem solving. Needs to classify, categorize, and work with abstractions.
Musical “plays with music” Remembers melody, notices rhythms of life and keeps perfect time. Needs information delivered via melodies, musical notation or rhythm.
Bodily/Kinesthetic “plays with moving” Person in motion, uses body and touches to express thoughts. Needs to interact with space in some way to process and remember information.
Mel Silberman(professor of Adult and organizational development at temple university in Philadelphia ) contrasts Active Learning and memorization:
“ Rreal learning is not memorization. Most of what we memorize is lost in hours. Learning can\'t be swallowed whole. To retain what has been taught, students must chew on it."
that learning comes "in waves" through repeated exposures of different kinds involving multiple senses. "When learning is active, the learner is seeking something, an answer to a question, information to solve a problem, or a way to do a job."
Simple tasks --------------------- Complex tasks
Active Learning involves input from multiple sources through multiple senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, etc.).
Active Learning involves process, interacting with other people and materials, accessing related schemata in the brain, stimulating multiple areas of the brain to act.Active Learning involves output, requiring students to produce a response or a solution or some evidence of the interactive Learning that is taking place.
Cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning.
Five essential components must be present for small-group learning to be truly cooperative:
1. Positive Interdependence (sink or swim together)
Each group member\'s efforts are required and indispensable for group success.
Each group member has a unique contribution to make to the joint effort because of his or her resources and/or role and task responsibilities.
-responsible for the groups output
-keeps group ‘on track’ and focused
-controls the direction of the project
-assigns additional roles, such as ‘experimenter’ or ‘equipment manager’
takes notes for the team
responsible for compiling and presentation of final product
gets supplies for team when necessary
-makes sure that everyone in the group is contributing (no sponges!)
ensures that everyone in the group has an equal opportunity to speak
makes sure that all comments are positive
reads material to the group
-makes sure that everyone in the group understands all the material
-ensures that everyone in the group is prepared to make their part of the presentation
At the beginning of a new topic of study, students groups list facts or concepts they know about the upcoming topic. During the opening lecture on the topic, students listen for facts/concepts they listed. When the teacher addresses an item on a group\'s list, group members raise their hands and receive points for their team.
1. Introduce the topic title and explain that before you begin lecturing on the topic, you would like to see how much the class already knows about the topic.2. Divide students into groups of equal size.3. Instruct groups to take 7-10 minutes to pool their knowledge and list all the facts they know about the topic.4. Explain that groups will earn group points toward their group grades based on their list of facts.5. As groups develop their lists, circulate and observe the lists. Announce when groups have only one minute left.6. Call time. Tell groups to raise hands during the lecture when the lecture covers a point on the group\'s fact list. Assign a scorekeeper.7. Deliver the lecture, stopping when group members raise their hands. Allow groups to report what their group said about the fact they listed that corresponds with your lecture point.
This Active Learning strategy gets students turned on to the topic from the start. Students pool their knowledge, share experiences, and learn from one another. Students remain tuned in during the lecture, listening with added interest and incentive. Groups build cohesion by contributing to the knowledge pool to earn points for their group. The teacher benefits from seeing how much the class knows about the topic.
A. You cannot cover as much course content in the time available.
B. Devising active learning strategies takes too much pre-class preparation;
C. Large class size prevents implementation of active learning strategies;
D. Most instructors think of themselves as being good lecturers;
E. There is a lack of materials or equipment needed to support active learningapproaches;
F. Students resist non-lecture approaches.
Do you want students to solve problems? Make evaluative decisions? Create new approaches?
Student groups create a 30-second TV commercial that illustrates concepts previously covered in class. Mel Silberman suggests using this strategy with students who already know one another as a team building exercise.
This Active Learning strategy engages students in team problem-solving that requires implementation of principles or procedures learned earlier in class.
Key: require students to make a choice as a team and apply principles of the course to justify their choice.
These active learning strategies engaged students in brief, pointed discussion. Everyone in class is actively involved in discussion.
“Empowering others is at the heart of great teaching. It requires the ability to inspire and engage, mentor and collaborate. Without self-awareness, and particularly emotional awareness, we are unable to be attentive to our own feelings and, therefore, have little chance of understanding and empowering the feelings and motivations of others.”
Shelton, Claudia Marshall. “Emotional Awareness: Fundamental to Effective Teaching.” Independent School. Vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 62-4, 66-71, Spring 2003.
A. The amount of information retained by students declines substantially after ten minutes (Thomas, 1972).
B. Research comparing lecture versus discussion techniques was summarized in (McKeachie, et. al., 1987). The review concluded that after the end of a course, measures of problem solving, thinking, attitude change, or motivation for further learning, the results tend to show differences favoring discussion methods over lecture. (p. 70)
C. Numerous researchers and national reports also discussed the use of active learning strategies in the classroom.