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Helping Passive Learners to Become Active Learners. Odyssey 2000 Conference Presentation by Valerie Irvine and T. Craig Montgomerie March 18, 2000 Direct correspondence to: virvine@ualberta.ca or Craig.Montgomerie@ualberta.ca. Overview of Presentation. We will discuss:

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helping passive learners to become active learners

Helping Passive Learners to Become Active Learners

Odyssey 2000 Conference Presentation

by Valerie Irvine and T. Craig Montgomerie

March 18, 2000

Direct correspondence to: virvine@ualberta.ca or Craig.Montgomerie@ualberta.ca

overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation

We will discuss:

  • what is active learning
  • why use active learning
  • active vs. passive learning strategies
  • active vs. passive learners
  • steps that can be taken to help passive learners become active learners.
context of discussion web based instruction wbi
Context of Discussion:Web-Based Instruction (WBI)
  • Web-based courses are being developed in K-12 and post-secondary education
what is active learning
What is Active Learning?
  • There are various definitions by researchers and educators to describe active learning
  • Let’s first discuss what definitions we have for active learning...
two basic assumptions
Two Basic Assumptions

1) that learning is by nature an active endeavor, and

2) that different people learn in different ways

Meyers & Jones (1993)

putting it simply
Putting it simply…
  • What I hear, I forget
  • What I see, I remember
  • What I do, I understand

(lecture approach)

(demonstration)

(hands on / learner-centred)

modified by silberman 1996
Modified by Silberman (1996)
  • What I hear, I forget.
  • What I hear and see, I remember a little.
  • What I hear, see, and ask questions about or discuss with someone else, I begin to understand.
  • What I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill.
  • What I teach another, I master.
what is active learning is not
What is Active Learning is NOT?
  • Learning is not merely the acquisition of knowledge where students receive information from teachers and regurgitate it
      • this is memorization
what is active learning10
What IS Active Learning?
  • Learning in which students, “by acting on objects and interacting with other people, ideas, and events, construct new understanding” (Luckner & Nadler, 1997, p. 13)
  • “Learning is conceived of as something a learner does, not something that is done to a learner.”

(Johnson, Johnson, & Smith, 1991, p. 7)

goal of active learning
Goal of Active Learning
  • Students will:
    • construct their own knowledge about a subject area
    • discover relationships that exist among items of information
    • organize subject matter themselves so that it is meaningful
why active learning
Why Active Learning?
  • Simply, it is a more effective learning approach and one that is more long-term
  • Learning in the information age demands students to develop a process for encountering new information
  • “The transmission model of teaching fails to prepare individuals for the future” Luckner & Nadler, 1997, p. 12
compare contrast
Compare/Contrast

Active Learning

  • better retention
  • higher-order thinking
  • student-centred: prior knowledge and pacing
  • greater student attention - students involved
  • encourages collaboration
  • emphasis on process

Passive Learning

  • poorer retention
  • lower-order thinking
  • teacher-centred: same info/same pace
  • lower attention-level
  • student isolation
  • emphasis on memorization
the learner and the strategy
The Learner and the Strategy
  • There are two things to consider in WBI:
    • the learner
    • the strategy
  • Even if an online course uses a more passive learning approach, the nature of the course in general demands students to take a more active role in their learning
what are some active learning strategies for online learning
What are some Active Learning strategies for online learning?

Discussion

(think about self-directed, collaborative, critical- thinking, and reflective activities)

what are some active learning strategies for online learning17
What are some Active Learning strategies for online learning?
  • Self-Directed Learning/Project-Based
  • Independent Journal-writing
  • Conference Board Discussion
  • Role-play/Simulation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Collaborative Learning
    • Jigsaw, Peer Teaching, Learning Partners
the learner transition to wbi
The Learner & Transition to WBI
  • Ease of transition to WBI depends on both the learner and the strategy used
  • WBI requires that students take responsibility for their own learning
the learner transition to wbi19
The Learner & Transition to WBI
  • active learners are quite comfortable taking responsibility for their own learning, setting their own pace, seeking out resources, etc.
  • passive learners find themselves very uncomfortable when then they are forced into a self-paced, active learning mode.
what makes this transition difficult for passive learners
What makes this transition difficult for passive learners?
  • Less structure (can work independently)
  • Students unfamiliar with teaching technique
  • Change in the role of the teacher
    • less sage on the stage
    • more guide on the side
  • Pattern of interaction is mostly among students
what makes this transition difficult for passive learners21
What makes this transition difficult for passive learners?
  • Difficulty Adapting to Change
    • Students often have almost a lifetime of experience in passive learning environments
what are steps to help passive learners become active learners
What are steps to help passive learners become active learners?

Discussion

  • Less structure
  • Students unfamiliar with teaching technique
  • Change in the role of the teacher
  • Pattern of interaction among students
steps to ease the transition for passive learners
Steps to ease the transition for passive learners
  • Provide a rationale
    • students often will be more understanding and be more adaptable to change if they understand the purpose to why they are doing what they are doing
steps to ease the transition for passive learners24
Steps to ease the transition for passive learners
  • Teach students about active learning
    • include a module at the beginning of the term devoted to this topic
    • create a conference on this topic and foster a discussion
steps to ease the transition for passive learners25
Steps to ease the transition for passive learners
  • Hold their hand
    • Provide an opportunity to work in a lab environment, where support is available or where students can feel less isolated
    • Hold one F2F class as an orientation
      • help students learn the interface, how to access chat, conference boards, how to search for info
questions comments
Questions? Comments?

Feel free to contact me at virvine@ualberta.ca if you have any questions or comments after this presentation.