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ACTIVE LEARNINGWhat is active learning?Active learning refers to a wide range of teaching strategies which include students with theirteacher as active participants in their learning during class time. Such methods usually require acertain number of students working together during class, but may also include individualresearch and/or meditation. Such instructional methods range from brief, basic tasks such asjournal writing, problem solving and combined conversations to lengthy, complex exercises orpedagogical structures such as case studies, role play and formal team-based learning (Jensen etal., 2015).Why use it?Active learning improves student outcomesThe application of constructive learning is backed by well-established data base. There are otheradvantages of performing these exercises, including enhanced critical thinking capabilities,increased acquisition and transmission of new knowledge, increased engagement, betterleadership skills and decreased course loss (Eichler et al., 2016).For an example, since 2000 the National Student Engagement Survey (NSSE) has analyzed theengagement perspectives of hundreds of thousands of students from over 1600 colleges anduniversities. The strong findings of these research indicate that realistic, comprehensive, andintegrated active learning environments contribute to high rates of student achievement andpersonal growth (Parker, 2018).As another example, (Margulieux, 2015) systematic meta-analysis of 225 science, engineering andmathematics curriculum studies found that active learning can substantially improve coursegrades over didactic approaches and is especially successful in small classes with 50 or fewerstudents. In their study, students were 1.5 times more likely to fail the course in courses with noactive learning than students in courses with active learning.Eventually, study shows a reciprocal effect between emotional and responsive learning systems.Productive learning may have a positive effect on student engagement, in addition, engagement's cumulative influence reduces core learning characteristics, such as concentration and memoryretention (Shernoff et al., 2016).SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION1.Choose meaningful activities or questionsOne of the most critical facets of active learning is picking the tasks or questions that you will beincluding in the lesson. Tell yourself before considering what to do, or what to do for students(Owens et al., 2020):
How will students benefit the most from this class session?What are growing myths or difficulties students have about this content?What kind of preparation should students do to help them plan for next task or evaluation?"Students from first generation or from underrepresented minorities benefit the most from activelearning."- Abdi Warfa, Assistant Professor, BiologyUse the answers to these questions to pick tasks and questions which will provide opportunitiesfor students to interact meaningfully with the content. You want students to engage in researchthat will give them input about how well they grasp the content and experience in learning theskills that are necessary for your course to succeed. Classroom Assessment Strategies is oneform of practice that works especially well, when successful learning starts. Using thesetechniques, or variants on them, will help you hold the attention of your students and allow themto properly maintain and pass knowledge and skills from your course (Barkley et al., 2020)."Students are not dumb and they are well conscious of whether we use pointless, time-suckinglearning exercises."-Sehoya Cotner, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences2.Explain your rationale to studentsAsk the students at the beginning of the semester and before you start the first (few) tasks whyyou have them involved in activities during the week. It is especially important if successfullearning in your discipline isn't common.This clarification doesn't have to be lengthy or complicated and can be as easy as, "In this course,I 'd like you to handle your assignments and tests positively, so we're going to do in-classexercises that I think will make things simpler for you. Sometimes you can work in pairs orclasses, and you can bounce off each other's thoughts and ask each other questions (Tharayil et al.,2018).3.Develop a facilitation approachThe nature of your course (e.g. number of students, style of furniture in your room, timeavailable) and level of practice can affect how you want to promote constructive learning.Students can operate alone, in pairs, or in small groups. Both classes may be predetermined bythe professor or decided by similarity at the moment.
One of the most common strategies is to allow students a limited time to consider individually(30-90 seconds is always enough), and then make them work in pairs or small groups. Whenyou're in a classroom with set chairs, students may still work together, so you may need to allowstudents to move around and break into classes. When you have a student sitting alone,encouraging a group to allow an individual to join them is always quicker and more successfulthan leading the person into entering a similar party ((Jensen et al., 2015).Keep students on taskOne of the most critical aspects of positive constructive learning is that students have a sense ofresponsibility for engaging in the task being given. We will quickly get off the mission if theydon't, or chose not to do as you asked. One of the most important questions that teachers ask is,"Do I need to rate all of this work in class? "The quick reaction is, no. You can opt to score inclass work but as a means of keeping students accountable, it's not necessary.Accountability may be created, for example, by notifying students before they start working onthe project that everyone will be prepared to contribute when the whole community gets backtogether. Then, when you reconvene the large community, randomly call an person ororganization to discuss what they were thinking about or how they addressed the topic. Youshould also listen in on small group discussions and if you hear a especially popular orfascinating question, ask the party to answer their question in order to launch a bigger debate.Another way for students to record their answers is by using clicker tools or paper clickers(Kwan, 2015)."Don't believe you need to control anything, and don't think you need to know anything inadvance. Let everything go to see what's going on."- Sheryl Breen, Associate Professor,POLSCIStudents often appear to stay on track as they sense the importance and significance of theassignment they were called to perform. When activities are identical or specifically linked toexpected assignments or exams, students are fundamentally inspired to train and prepare for thegraded work.Finally, keep short on the events. Offer students a simple target or mission, rather than "discussyour reaction" as a general guidance. Tell the students that you will allow them a small anddefined period of time to work. If they require more time, include it where possible.Wrap-up activitiesTaking time after students collaborated in small groups to put the task to a end. Typically thiswrap-up happens before the most important learning takes place.You may invite a group of students to discuss their thinking, or invite others if they have anythoughts or strategies. Invite other students to help explain why this line of logic is wrong when aanswer represents a common misconception. You should also not only correct the answer butalso help them understand how the issue is addressed by experts.
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