Active Learning


TLTC Summer Series

May 25, 2010


 Workshop materials


 What is active learning?

 Why use active learning?

 Active learning techniques and examples

Active learning on campus

 Jack Shannon

Michael Taylor

Dyknow demonstration

 Final Activity

 Brainstorm active learning ideas

 Blackboard 9.1 Wiki

Opening Activity

 For a minute or two, think of a lecture that has always stayed with you

 Share your ideas with the class using this link:

(Shared Google Document)

 Now, think of a learning experience that you had at sometime that was not a lecture, that you have always recalled.

 Why has it stayed with you?

 What did you learn?

What is Active Learning?

 How would you define active learning?

 What characterizes active learning and makes it different from inactive learning?

Active Learning…

 Multi-directional learning experience in which learning occurs

 teacher-to-student

 student-teacher

 student-student

Active Learning…

 Involves students

 doing things

 thinking about what they are doing

 reflecting about their experiences in some fashion (most often including writing)

Active Learning…

 Can occur in many forms

 whole class, teams, small groups, trios, pairs, or individuals talking, writing, reading, discussing, role-playing, acting, journaling, conferring, interviewing, building, creating…

Why Use Active Learning?

 Research shows that…

 students prefer active learning over lecture alone

 students master content at levels comparable to lecturing

 students master thinking and writing skills at levels higher than lecturing

 student learning styles are better served by active learning vs. lecturing

A Sampling of Researchers

 Meyers and Jones (1993)

 Bonwell and Eison (1991)

 Chickering and Gamson (1987)

Meyers and Jones (1993)

 Identified elements of active learning

“elements involve cognitive activities that allow students to clarify, question, consolidate, and appropriate new knowledge”

 Talking and listening

 Reading

 Writing

 Reflecting

Bonwell and Eison (1991)

 Describe characteristics of active learning

 Focus is on developing skills

 Focus on higher order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation)

 Students are reading, discussing, writing

Chickering and Gamson (1987)

 Found that students

 Must talk about and through their learning

 Write about their learning

 Be able to and be encouraged to relate it to previous experiences

 Apply it to their daily lives


 Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning:

Creating excitement in the classroom . ASHE-

ERIC Higher education Report No. 1. Washington,

DC: The George Washington University, School of

Education and Human Development.

 Chickering, A., Gamson, Z. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education . AAHE Bulletin 39 (7), 3-7.

 Meyers, C., & Jones, T. (1993). Promoting active learning: Strategies for the college classroom .

San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

How much is retained?

(Work with a partner to determine which percentages match these teaching practices)

 Discussion = ?

 Lecturing = ?

 Teaching others = ?

 Reading = ?

 Practice by Doing = ?

 Audio-Visual = ?

 Demonstrations = ?








Learning Retention Pyramid

More Data

Benefits of Active Learning

Students stay awake.

Students participate in their educational experience.

Students can interact with the course material.

Students can collaborate with other students to explore course material.

Techniques of Active Learning

 Think-Pair-Share

 Collaborative learning groups

 Student-led review sessions

 Games

 Analysis or reactions to videos

 Student debates

 Student generated exam questions

 Research proposals or projects

 Analyze case studies

 Keeping journals/blogs

Question 1

 It would be nice to know, during my lecture, if students understood the concepts.

 True

 False

Question 2

 I could use a blog or discussion board as a quick check to see if students have understood what they have read before class.

 True

 False

Blogs, Forums, and/or Discussion Boards

Active learning continues outside the classroom.

Students post explanations of concepts to further explore concepts that are presented in class readings .

Students can reply to postings to add a discussion of the concepts.

Students read class material and work with concepts more than taking notes.

Students interact with one another to enrich their learning experience.

Students think about the connections between class examples and concepts in the text.

Students add examples to clarify concepts in everyday terms.

Gives students a place to explore questions they have about concepts and class readings.

Useful way for students to “correct” misunderstandings of concepts for classmates.

Blog Examples

 Chemistry and Physics

 Dickinson Blogs

Luce Semester

Homer’s Iliad

 Historical Method 204

 SHU Blogs

 Introduction to Environmental Studies

 IGG Fall 2009

Blog/Forum/DB Benefits

Give faculty insight into how students are understanding class material.

Faculty can clarify misunderstandings in the following class.

Students have to read some of the course material to be able to post.

Students have other people, other than the course instructor, from whom they can learn and question.

Students have to actively consider the conceptual meanings to be able to express them in writing.

Question 3

 It would not be effective to have separate groups be responsible for posting concepts, for specifically assigned chapters, to limit the number of blog or discussion board postings in large classes.

 True

 False


 Wikis are online spaces where students can collaborate on projects or upload their own work for class projects.

Question 4

 It would be necessary for students to meet to work on group projects that would be uploaded to the wiki.

 True

 False

Wiki Examples

 Higher-Ed Wikis

 Nature and American Values

 BITE5389 Web 2.0 Technologies & Virtual


 Cariology Project

Active Learning and Technology Summary

Activities in and outside of class create a more active learning environment for students to master course material.

• Students explore class concepts and apply them to real world situations

• Students can discuss class material, blog and query about class concepts in postings, and collaboratively complete class assignments

Active learning can occur through in class activities.

• These can be accomplished with interactive technology, among other means

Active learning can also occur through assigned activities in which students interact with each other outside of class.

• Active learning outside of the class occurs through written communication technology activities

• Technology allows students to peer review classmates’ or group members’ work to more easily allow revisions before final submission of work

Faculty Presentations

 Jack Shannon

 Ideas and Trends wiki

 Michael Taylor

 South Mountain Reforestation

 Politics and Technology Course

 PowerPoint Twitter Tools

Final Activity

 Brainstorm active learning ideas for your classroom individually, or in groups


 Username: your shortname

 Password: active