Teaching needs to be student-oriented
- course begins where the students are; not where professor is
- students expected to bring needed skills i.e. background knowledge, self-motivation
- professor accepts responsibility for motivation, clarity, and supportive teaching
- students are treated with same respect, and dignity expected by the professor
- individual differences are expected, welcomed and supportive
Activities are problem-centered and student-driven
- students are active learners
- course is built on real problems that relate to student goals and interest
- easier problems are dealt with earlier in the course and used to provide paradigms and activity models
- students have some flexibility in problem selection
- busy work and repetition are minimized
- when possible, students work at their own pace and own schedule
- students are encouraged/required to work together in groups and provide suggestions, feedback and support to on another
Teaching is developmental rather than directive or presentational
- students are active creators of knowledge, not passive receivers of information
- multiple answers are often accepted
- emphasis is on understanding and application rather that memorization and repetition
- students allowed broad flexibility and encouraged toward self-direction
- professor guides but does not dictate
Sample Active Learning Techinques
- Think-Pair-Share: students reflect on a question/issue for o-2 minutes. Students find a peer and they work together to form a correct response or provide an overview of the information. Then they share to entire class.
- Meeting of the Minds: students role play two alternative point of views. (prepare in advance.)
- Cold-calling: single student must share with class their conclusion supported by reasons and evidence. Students receive a question/issue in advance to have opportunity to prepare answers. could also be used as a group activity during which students compare evidence and prepare reasons without knowing who will be called on to provide final justification.
- Discussion Method: Open ended story/case study provides a vehicle for analysis, criticism and reaching conclusions.
- Reciprocal Peer Questioning: Students prepare questions on lecture, reading, experiment, etc. that they share with a group and discuss to answer with supporting evidence. Each group chooses 1 question to share with the large group as a discussion starter.
- Conference Style Learning: Teacher functions as facilitator, time keeper and discussion guide, adding strategic questions to keep the discussion going. Students perform as experts on a given issue.
- Ambiguity: Provide students with conflicting information that they must think their way through in order to create a response that can be justified.