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  1. Active Learning Techniques

  2. Hi, my name is Tracy Dougher and I am the Division Head for Agricultural Education. I am also a Professor of Horticulture. I have appointments in two departments within the College of Ag. I am engaged with the Center for Faculty Excellence as a member of the Teaching Excellence Action Committee and the CFE Advisory Board. I have completely flipped my Miracle Growing class. I play the banjo and my husband plays the bagpipes. I have two wonderful children who are involved with scouting, the oldest is an Eagle Scout and the younger is working on her Bronze Award in Venture Scouting. I am the oldest of nine children, so I can be very bossy sometimes. I did not learn teaching from being bossy.

  3. What is Active Learning? • Active learning engages students in the process of learning through activities and/or discussion in class, as opposed to passively listening to an expert. It emphasizes higher-order thinking and often involves group work. • As opposed to “…continuous exposition by the teacher.” • What you are mostly NOT doing right now. Freeman et al. (2014) Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. PNAS 111:8410

  4. 1) The “Learning Styles” paper by Pashler et al. notes that adults, if asked, will express preferences for how information is presented to them, • and evidence is abundant that adults learn best in their preferred learning style. • but evidence is lacking that adults learn better when taught in their preferred style and in some cases the evidence runs contradictory to this hypothesis. • and evidence is scant but emerging that adults learn best when taught in their learning style.

  5. 2) Yamane (2006) concludes that discussion-based courses are predicated on students • reading and thinking about the course material prior to attending class. • being exposed to the material for the first time at the beginning of class. • testing themselves thoroughly on the material prior to attending class.

  6. 3) Neurologically, mathematicians are • right brained. • left brained. • firing neurons in both hemispheres of the brains.

  7. 4) Failure rates under traditional lecturing are ______ over the rates observed under active learning. • the same • 25% decreased • 55% increased

  8. 5) If a student comes to you and says ‘I study lots, but I don’t get it’, you could suggest they • only go to lecture • only read the textbook • try one or several of the techniques suggested by Dunlosky et al., such as imagery for text, distributed practice, and elaborative interrogation.

  9. 6) Dr. Dougher plays the • piano • harmonica • washtub bass • bagpipes • banjo

  10. Pashler et al. (2009) Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 9(3):105 Yamane (2006) Course Preparation Assignments: A Strategy for Creating Discussion-Based Courses. Teaching Sociology 34:236 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2002) Understanding the Brain: Towards a New Learning Science. Freeman et al. (2014) Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. PNAS 111(23):8410. Dunlosky et al. (2013) Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 14(1):4