Tips for Facilitating Active Learning Active Learning Strategies to Try by latenightwaitress


									Tips for Facilitating Active Learning

  Active Learning Strategies to Try
                                                How DyKnow Vision™ Can Help!
          in the Classroom
Note Consolidation
Give students 2-3 minutes in-between
lecture segments to consolidate their notes.   Because student notes are in an electronic
This allows them to rehearse material and      format, students can easily insert or cut and
refreshes their concentration for the next     paste sections of their notes, making it easy
lecture segment [1]. Students may work in      to reorganize.
pairs to compare and discuss and create
more complete notes.
Group Activities
Active learning techniques incorporate
many small group activities. Here are a
        Feedback Lecture
        Break the class session into 2-3
                                               Groups may work together on a single set
        mini-lectures, each followed by a
                                               of notes and cut and paste from their
        group study session. Small groups
                                               personal note-taking area. Examples and
        of students work through a study
                                               other material pulled from previous
        guide and discuss the material
                                               DyKnow sessions, the Internet, or other
        together [1].
                                               media can be pulled in easily.
                                               When students pose a question to the class,
        Pose a question for students to work
                                               the student or group posing the question
        on in pairs. When pairs are done,
                                               can be temporarily put in control of the
        have them share their work with the
                                               session in order to pose the question and
        class [2].
                                               provide any related diagrams or materials,
        Guided Lecture Procedure
                                               or to provide the group’s answer. Or, the
        Students listen to focused mini-
                                               instructor can collect responses and choose
        lectures without taking notes, then
                                               portions of student work to show to the
        sit and write notes or answer
                                               class. The instructor may create a
        questions for a focused 5-10 minute
                                               “teachable moment” out of incorrect
        period of writing. After this, small
                                               answers by modifying student work on the
        groups of students compare notes
                                               fly, broadcasting the new work to the entire
        and create a summary. The groups
        are encouraged to analyze material,
        and come up with new examples
        and questions.
        In a modified Guided Lecture
        Procedure, students may be
        requested to each write a question,
        which the groups attempt to answer.
        The most interesting questions are
        then brought to the entire class for
        further discussion [2].
Peer Instruction
Pose a conceptual question to the class.
This can be a multiple choice question,
with the distracters based on common
student misconceptions. Let the class vote
on the right answer. Then, have students
pair off and explain their answers to each     Use DyKnow’s “polling” feature to
other. After the discussion, have another      anonymously collect student answers. A
vote. Typically, a large number of students    data table, pie-chart or bar graph can be
who originally had the wrong answer or         generated and pasted into DyKnow notes
were uncertain about their answer have         for everyone to see before and after the
come to clearly understand the correct         peer instruction. Students may gain
answer. If not, a class discussion can help    confidence as they see the entire class
further clarify the answer.                    progress to understanding the material.

You may also wish to ask students what
their confidence level is before and after
the pairing. Typically, students feel more
confident in their answer after a brief
discussion with a peer [3].
Informal Assessments
Informal assessments can help students
gain confidence, practice their writing
skills, and focus on new material. They are
a good way to encourage students to read     Informal quizzes and other writing
                                             assignments can quickly and easily be
their textbook outside of class, so that class
time can be focused on difficult or new      incorporated into the lesson with DyKnow.
material. They also are a quick form of      Simply put the quiz questions on a
formative feedback for the teacher.          DyKnow slide and ask the class to answer
                                             them. They need not switch medium or
Informal assessments may include:            move seats. After a few minutes,
Quizzes                                      automatically collect the students’ work.
A 2-3 question quiz can be quickly inserted All student responses will be stored in one
at the beginning or end of the session, or   notebook, allowing you to go through them
even in the middle, to break up lecture [4]. quickly to ascertain if students have
One Minute Papers                            problems. If desired, you can also quickly
A brief essay on a topic such as “What was grade and return the quizzes, all without
the most important thing you learned in this leaving your seat. This can easily be done
class?” or “What important question          while students work on other group
remains unanswered?” [4].                    activities.
Focused Listening
Write a key term and ask students to list
important words or phrases associated with
it [4].
Physical Activities                             After a physical activity, bring the class
Use debates, dramas, role-plays, and other      back to the material by summarizing on-
physical activities to shake things up in the   the-fly. This summary will be added to
class or to present material in a different     student DyKnow notebooks along with the
format.                                         rest of their notes and activities.
Lab Based Activities
Lab activities and demonstrations are
particularly useful in the sciences.            DyKnow notes can easily incorporate
However, other topic areas may use              teacher-created worksheets which guide
specialized computer software or other          students in their exploration of labs. Tablet
exploratory materials as well.                  PCs or laptops can be carried from station
                                                to station, allowing students to take notes
Insert demonstrations into lectures. If         directly. The results generated by graphing
facilities exist, insert participatory mini-    software or other tools can be pasted
labs or make the entire course lab-based.       directly into a DyKnow notebook.
Laboratory activities should be aimed at        Encourage students to create a complete
student exploration. They can be                record of experiments, results, and
specifically centered on breaking student       discussions in their DyKnow notebook.
misconceptions, helping students to form
new mental models about the material [5].
 Instructor Concerns About
Using Active Learning in the         How DyKnow Vision™ Can Help!
       Classroom [6]
                                 With DyKnow Vision, it is easy to incorporate
                                 interactive components. Students do not need to
                                 physically move or switch to a different media;
                                 they can continue working on their personal
                                 computer for interactive activities or even for
 Time to Cover Course Content    group activities, saving course time. Study guides
                                 or quick quizzes can be given easily, allowing the
                                 teacher to encourage students to be responsible
                                 for the readings in their own text books and save
                                 class time for more meaningful activities, as
                                 suggested by proponents of active learning.
                                 Existing lecture notes and other resources can be
                                 quickly pulled in to DyKnow Vision and
                                 modified. Anonymous polls can be created with a
       Time to Prepare
                                 few clicks of the mouse. More elaborate
                                 activities can be saved and modified for use in
                                 multiple courses.

                                 Students can work on exercises from their own
                                 computers. Assignments don’t even need to be
                                 duplicated, handed out, or collected. DyKnow
                                 automatically transmits material from the teacher
    Large Lecture Setting
                                 to the student, and student work can be collected
                                 electronically as well. Student work can be
                                 anonymously shared with all members of the
                                 class, and even annotated or modified by the
                                 Many active learning techniques do not need any
                                 special materials or equipment. Whether the
                                 activity is simple or complex, DyKnow
Lack of Materials or Equipment
                                 Vision’s™ single interface gives the teachers the
                                 flexibility to decide what and how much material
                                 to incorporate.
                                       Students polled have been overwhelmingly
                                       positive about the use of DyKnow Vision and
                                       active learning techniques. In fact, students who
     Students Resist Non-Lecture       have been exposed to this combination ask for
             Approaches                more interactive activities in courses which do not
                                       typically use them. Students consistently
                                       recommend DyKnow for courses which do not
                                       currently use it [7].


1.      Bonwell, C.C. and J.A. Eison (1991) Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the
        Classroom. ERIC Digest Volume,
2.      Butler, A., K.-B. Phillmann, and L. Smart, Active Learning within a Lecture:
        Assessing the Impact of Short, In-Class Writing Exercises. Teaching of
        Psychology, 2001. 28(4): p. 257-259.
3.      Mazur, E. Peer instruction: Getting students to think in class. in American
        Institute of Physics. 1997. Woodbury, New York.
4.      Bonwell, C.C., Using Active Learning to Enhance Lectures. Review of
        Agricultural Economics, 1999. 21(2): p. 542-550.
5.      Bernhard, J., Activity based physics education: Some examples of innovative
        approaches at some universities and colleges in USA, in CUP-day. 1999:
        Linköping University.
6.      Bonwell, C.C., Active learning: creating excitement in the classroom. 1991, ERIC
        Clearinghouse on Higher Education: Washington, DC: George Washington
7.      Berque, D., Private communication of survey results. 2005.

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