Active learning includes any classroom instructional method that requires students to participate in meaningful learning activities, apply the core concepts and engage with the course content and their fellow students in pursuit of a learning goal. The key elements are student activity and engagement in the learning process. While there are many different active learning techniques, most fall under one of these broad categories: collaborative learning, cooperative learning or problem-based learning.
Markstein 202 – Active Learning Classroom Pilot
Markstein 202 has been extensively modified to foster active learning techniques with students working in teams, providing new options for student interaction and class structure. Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) are designed as cooperative learning environments that encourage student collaboration and peer teaching.
So what is different about this room?
- Student Stations. There are eight student group stations around the sides of the room. Each of these has a large high-definition monitor and a computer that can boot into either the Windows or Mac operating systems.
- Furniture. Tables and chairs are arranged to facilitate small-group work. Extra space in the room allows instructors to interactively coach students during activities. Rolling white boards provide convenient space for brainstorming.
- Screen sharing software. All of the student stations and the instructor’s station are equipped with special software that allows the sharing of any screen on all or some of the others in the room.
The idea is to foster active learning activities that stress collaboration, project-based learning, and teamwork. The physical changes in the room are designed to assist with this. We would like to work with you to incorporate these activities into your curriculum effectively. The current version of the room could be considered the “Mark I” version, and we need faculty input to improve it in coming semesters.
Here are some links to a couple of short videos about how the ALC concept in being applied in other universities.
In the past few years the idea of the "Flipped Classroom" has made its way from K-12 to Higher Education. "Flipping the classroom" is a pedagogical concept that moves the lecture out of the classroom to pre-class preparation, and uses valuable classroom time for active learning.
Instructors videotape their lectures or use open-source resources to provide the lecture content. Students can complete the required preparation at their own pace and at a time that works best for them. During class, the instructors function as facilitators, coaching, advising, answering questions and addressing misconceptions in real time. Students and Instructors spend more time interacting, and most "flipped teachers" think this is the most important reason students do so well in a flipped model.
A growing number of higher ed institutions are investigating its use, although the research is just emerging in the peer-reviewed journals. There is however, a large body of documented research into the two components of the flipped classroom, the use of lecture capture/video and active learning. See for yourself what the literature has to say about these pedagogies, and how they have been implemented in different disciplines.
- Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class
- Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment
- Shaping the future of math curriculum through adaptive technology
- Space matters: The impact of formal learning environments on student learning
- Using the Inverted Classroom to Teach Software Engineering
- Flipped Classroom: Some Additional Resources and References
- 6 Expert Tips for Flipping the Classroom
Active Learning Research
- Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses
- Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results
- Active Learning:Creating Excitement in the Classroom
- Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research
- Flip the classroom and catalyze the learning
- Multiple-Choice Exams: An Obstacle for Higher-Level Thinking in Introductory Science Classes
Active Learning Techniques
- Active Learning Techniques
- ConcepTest Sources
- Choosing or Writing Good Cases
- The Essential Elements of Team-Based Learning