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Deepening Student Engagement with Active Learning Strategies

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  1. Deepening Student Engagement with Active Learning Strategies Debra Rudder Lohe, Ph.D. Director, Reinert Center Saint Louis University ASV Annual Meeting ~ July 21, 2013

  2. Session Overview • Examining Assumptions • Yours, Mine, Ours • Understanding Active Learning • What, Why, How • Making Choices • Goals, Objectives, Philosophies

  3. Session Goals This session will . . . • Introduce a range of “active learning” strategies appropriate for varying types and sizes of classes • Provide examples of small, interactive lecture techniques for efficient student engagement • Prepare you to make decisions about active learning techniques appropriate for your context • Model active learning strategies I.e., make you do stuff!

  4. Session Objectives After this session you should be able to . . . • Identify a range of active learning strategies appropriate for your own teaching situation • Explain why interactive techniques are important for learning • Connect specific active learning strategies with your goals for student learning and engagement

  5. Examining Assumptions Yours, Mine, Ours

  6. Assumptions: You • You care about teaching • You may not have been taught how to teach • You’re busy! And you’ve got “coverage” issues • You want deeper learning from students • “Think like a virologist”vs. “Regurgitate stuff I tell you” • Students sometimes frustrate you • And you sometimes frustrate them!

  7. Assumptions: Teaching Virology • There is a lot of content to “cover” • And it’s growing all the time? • The signature pedagogy is lecture • Maybe with some discussion of primary literature • It happens in a lot of different contexts • Graduate, undergraduate, and medical • Small classes and large ones • Labs, clinics, and other non-classroom “learning” spaces

  8. So . . . what assumptions do you make about “active learning”? It won’t work for the classes I teach. It’s just about entertaining students. It’s too time-consuming! It is essential to real learning. I can’t cover enough material and do activities. It’s busy work (for me and for my students).

  9. Assumptions: Active Learning • Learning is “active” • Students learn more (and more deeply) when they’re engaged • Lots of things constitute “active learning” – and you may already be doing some of them • Even very small active learning exercises can make a difference • Active learning strategies can be applied in any size/type class

  10. Understanding Active Learning What, Why, and How

  11. The What: What is A.L.? “anything that students do in the classroom other than merely passively listening to an instructor’s lecture” (Paulson & Faust) Active Learning activities are “instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they’re doing” (Bonwell & Eison) “Active learning means that the mind is actively engaged. Its defining characteristics are that students are dynamic participants in their learning and that they are reflecting on and monitoring both the processes and the results of their learning.” (Barkley) “The core elements of active learning are student activity and engagement in the learning process.” (Prince) It’s an approach, not a specific method.

  12. The Why: What do cognitive psychologists say? “. . . active learning involves the development of cognition, which is achieved by acquiring ‘organized knowledge structures’ and ‘strategies for remembering, understanding, and solving problems’ . . . . active learning entails a process of interpretation, whereby new knowledge is related to prior knowledge and stored in a manner that emphasizes the elaborated meaning of these relationships.” So, for cognitive psychology, this means doing 3 key things: • Activating Prior Knowledge • Chunking • Practicing Meta-cognitive Awareness Suzanne M. Swiderski“Active Learning: A Perspective from Cognitive Psychology”(2010)

  13. The Why: How Learning Works Ambrose et al. • Students’ prior knowledge helps / hinders new learning • How they organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know. • Motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn. • To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply what they have learned. • Goal-directed practice, coupled with targeted feedback, enhances the quality of learning. • Students’ current level of development interacts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning. • To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning.

  14. How Learning Works: What Matters Ambrose et al. • Students’ prior knowledge helps / hinders new learning • How theyorganize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know. • Motivationdetermines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn. • To develop mastery, students must acquire component skills, practiceintegratingthem, and know when to applywhat they have learned. • Goal-directedpractice, coupled with targeted feedback, enhances the quality of learning. • Students’ current level of developmentinteracts with the social, emotional, and intellectual climate of the course to impact learning. • To become self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning.

  15. The Why: Average Retention Rate from Different Teaching Methods (% of learning students can recall after 24 hours) 2% Lecture 4% Reading 7% Audiovisual 11% Demonstration 18% Discussion Group 27% Practice by Doing 31% Teach Others Immediate Use of Learning Cited in Barkley, Student Engagement Techniques David A. SousaHow the Brain Learns (2000)

  16. The Why: Average Retention Rate from Different Teaching Methods (% of learning students can recall after 24 hours) 2% Lecture 4% Reading 7% Audiovisual 11% Demonstration 18% Discussion Group 27% Practice by Doing 31% Teach Others Immediate Use of Learning verbal processing verbal + visual processing doing / applying Cited in Barkley, Student Engagement Techniques David A. SousaHow the Brain Learns (2000)

  17. The Why: We Want More than Recall • We want the so-called “higher-order” cognitive skills, not just repetition and regurgitation (à la Bloom) • Achieving higher levels of thinking requires students to do something, to engage actively in the learning process. Also, students learn best when they’re aware of where they are on this pyramid (meta-cognitive). • Sitting passively in class won’t promote higher-order thinking. • Neither will activities that only ask for remembering & understanding. (Caution: misalignment)

  18. The How: What “active learning” strategies do you already use?

  19. The How: How Do Others Do It? • Interactive Lectures • Problem-Based Learning • Case-Based Learning • Other Inquiry-Guided Learning • Service-Learning • Collaborative and Cooperative Learning

  20. The How: How Do Others Do It? • Interactive Lectures • Problem-Based Learning • Case-Based Learning • Other Inquiry-Guided Learning • Service-Learning • Collaborative and Cooperative Learning

  21. Interactive Lecturing • Feedback Lecture • Guided Lecture • Responsive Lecture • Pause Procedure • Lecture Quiz • ConcepTests • One-Minute Papers • Think / Pair / Share • Other: • Discussion • Mini-Cases • “Flipped” Classroom

  22. Making Choices Goals, Objectives, and Philosophies

  23. Barriers? • Class size and/or type • Time (or lack of it!) • Student perceptions, motivation • Faculty perceptions, lack of knowledge • “Content tyranny” (Prince 2004)

  24. Decisions? • Start with course goals and your student learning objectives for each lecture / lesson. • What’s the difference? • Consider your teaching situation. • Reflect on your teaching philosophyand teaching style.

  25. Tips for Getting Started: You Start small – a little goes a long way, and you need different things at different times Consider whether you really are “losing” something for content Podcast lectures, have students doing things in class Begin to let students help prepare / teach / model / demonstrate things in class

  26. Tips for Getting Started: Them Provide rationale (so students know “why”) Give them a little research on learning Introduce Bloom; use to structure exams Set expectation from the first day Ask students to devise or propose activities

  27. What’s the I D E A? List all the concepts, ideas, points you can recall from this session. Identify the most important idea for your teaching. Describe / define why it’s important for you / your courses. Elaborate new questions it raises / calls to mind. Apply the concept: how would you use it in class? IDEA activity adapted from Feb 2010 issue of National Teaching and Learning Forum.

  28. Questions? Debie Lohe dlohe@slu.edu

  29. Anderson & Krathwohl (2001) Bloom’s Taxonomy for Thinking Bloom (1956) http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/4719

  30. Goals vs. Objectives COURSE Goals LEARNING Objectives Specific, concrete About students State what students will knowand/or be able to do Describe observable, measurable actions Can be cognitive, affective, or psychomotor • General, broad • About you/course • State what you or the course will do / teach • Describe hopes & ideals for student learning • May describe kind of learning experience

  31. Subject Class Teacher Learner Teaching Situation

  32. Teaching Styles Anthony F. Grasha, Teaching with Style (1996)