Active Learning


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Write down your own definition of learning. Pair with a neighbor. Share with us. [mouse click] Can you remember a class where the professor followed this definition? Ask for sharing… What did you take away from that class? What do you wish you could have taken away from this class? Share my example of going to class on rotation. [Laurel who wrote this?]

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The pouring model of learning, where information is deposited into the brain of the student as is. The learner plays a passive role. Emphasis on rote memory. The information that is poured doesn’t get changed in any way.

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The pouring model can lead to difficulties at times. Do you remember what the professor did to help encourage learning? [Use flipchart to record answers]

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Thus, a better definition of learning might look like thus. I’m sure it’s easy to see how we would use this type of learning when we are teaching things immediately relevant to students lives, such as the upcoming election in a poli.sci. class. But what about the majority of the time when we try to teach difficult concepts that students might have NO experience with. For example, with a difficult text. [Click] let’s tease this apart and look at the components.

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Focus is not so much on the what (knowledge or content), but on the how—focus on action!

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ENGAGING STUDENTS WITH ACTIVE LEARNING Erin Rentschler & Michael McGravey Center for Teaching Excellence Duquesne University Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.

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Learning is…? “Information passing from the notes of the professor to the notes of the student without passing through the mind of either one.”

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How Do We Learn? According to How Learning Works, learning is a process, not a product. Involves change in knowledge, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes. Is not something done to students, but rather something students themselves do. It is the direct result of how students interpret and respond to their experiences. Ambrose, S. A. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching.

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We get students “doing” through Active Learning: “Active learning is any activity that allows students to engage the course materials so that the instructor and the student can ascertain the students' mastery of the materials and adjust the instruction to facilitate further learning.”

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In other words… “Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves” (Chickering & Gamson 1987, p. 143 of Resource Guide) TALK WRITE RELATE APPLY So students must…

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So the role of the teacher? “Engaging students in learning is principally the responsibility of the teacher, who becomes less an imparter of knowledge and more a designer and facilitator of learning experiences and opportunities.” (Smith, Sheppard, Johnson and Johnson, 2005)

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VARK: A Building Block for Generating Classroom Activities Fleming and Mills’ Sensory-Based Learning (V.A.R.K.) Visual Auditory

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Reading and Writing Kinesthetic

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Exercise #1 Generating classroom activities using VARK In groups of three, brainstorm things that you can ask students to do that would favor a single modality of learning. Groups will report their findings so that you will have a completed chart for future reference.

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Some VARK-Guided Active Learning Strategies Visual Learners Building models Active demonstrations Diagramming Concept mapping

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Some VARK-Guided Active Learning Strategies Auditory Learners Discussion Debate Brainstorming Buzz groups

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Some VARK-Guided Active Learning Strategies Reading – Writing Learners One minute papers Quotation Identification Note Comparison/Sharing Letter home explaining concept Muddiest Point Paper

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Some VARK-Guided Active Learning Strategies Kinesthetic Learners Role-playing Simulation Projects Games Field trips

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Learning occurs within the student and cannot be simply transmitted Attention span is limited (15-20 minutes) Interaction fosters deep and long-lasting learning Students’ active use of concepts leads to higher order learning and better long-term memory Final Thoughts: How People Learn

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Final Thoughts: Implications for Teaching Plan activities to engage students in interacting with content, with other students, and with you Provide students with opportunities to develop their skills as learners. Help them figure out how to learn. Account for diversity of learners and intersperse activities that benefit and challenge various learning styles

Summary: This PowerPoint focuses on various types of learning. The model encouraged here is VARK.

Tags: learning vark

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