Preparing the environment for active learning examples from the large enrollment classroom
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Preparing the Environment for Active Learning: examples from the large enrollment classroom. Katie Winsett, PhD Biology Department [email protected]

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Preparing the environment for active learning examples from the large enrollment classroom
Preparing the Environment for Active Learning: examples from the large enrollment classroom.

Katie Winsett, PhD

Biology Department

[email protected]


“An important part of our job as teachers is equipping as many of our students as possible with high-level problem-solving and thinking skills, including critical and creative thinking.

If there is a broad agreement about anything in educational research, it’s that well-implemented learner-centered instruction is much more effective than traditional lecture-based instruction at promoting those skills.”

Richard Felder, Chemical Engineering Education 45 (2011).


Thoughts from experience and the literature
Thoughts from experience and the literature many of our students as possible with high-level problem-solving and thinking skills, including critical and creative thinking.

  • Upfront preparation

    • The syllabus

    • Blackboard

    • Detailed directions

  • Organized chaos

  • Introductions


Thoughts from experience and the literature1
Thoughts from experience and the literature many of our students as possible with high-level problem-solving and thinking skills, including critical and creative thinking.

  • Upfront preparation

  • Organized chaos

    • Given the right tools, students will talk about the content

    • Be very clear on how this works.

    • Consciously address the environment

  • Introductions


Thoughts from experience and the literature2
Thoughts from experience and the literature many of our students as possible with high-level problem-solving and thinking skills, including critical and creative thinking.

  • Upfront preparation

  • Organized chaos

  • Introductions

    • They don’t know each other

    • Consciously address this


Final thoughts
Final thoughts many of our students as possible with high-level problem-solving and thinking skills, including critical and creative thinking.

  • There will be resistance.

  • Things will not go as planned.

  • Students will learn.

  • Be idealistic about it; the literature supports your effort.

  • Be prepared.

  • Remind yourself why you do it.

    • Reread student reflective assignments

    • John Hunter: The World Peace Game


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