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 . 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 few: 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 . media can be pulled in easily. Think-Pair-Share 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 . 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 class. 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 . 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 . 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 . 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?” . activities. Focused Listening Write a key term and ask students to list important words or phrases associated with it . 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 . Instructor Concerns About Using Active Learning in the How DyKnow Vision™ Can Help! Classroom  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 teacher. 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 . Footnotes 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 University. 7. Berque, D., Private communication of survey results. 2005.
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