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active learning

Engaging Students with Active Learning

There are now more ways to get students active and interested in classes.

Professor Perry Samson from the University of Michigan experienced a significant increase of the amount of students in his class after he simply added the word “extreme” to the class name. Now that he had to deal with about 200 students from just 40, he decided to come up with a way to effectively teach his lectures to all of them.

Professor Samson is an entrepreneur as well and is the cofounder of a popular weather site and an active learning platform known as LectureTools. His purpose for LectureTools was to get students participating in class through their technological devices in class. This software allowed real-time feedback from the students and was able to capture notes that students were taking, how they answered questions and questions that they asked.


Co-founders of LectureTools (from left to right): Kiran Jagadeesh, Jason Aubree and Perry Samson.
Credit: AnnArbor.com

According to a report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, students enrolled in STEM courses that used active learning techniques had exam scores that were 6 percent higher than the students who did not have active learning. In fact, it was shown that students who did not have active learning were “1.5 more likely to fail course exams”.

Samson concluded that a strong relationship exists between the students’ active learning participation and their outcomes. He says that, although the typical Learning Management System provides grading, assignments and collaboration potential, it does not provide tools that students can use to participate and be active during class time.

Ever since Samson introduced his software into his classes, 68% of his students asked questions in class; there was more of an even distribution among women and men and non-English and English speakers asking questions.

Source: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/04/15/engaging-students-with-active-learning.aspx?admgarea=News

Higher Pass Rates for STEM Courses Using Active Learning

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and developed by lead researchers at the University of Washington, which included Scott Freeman, Mary Wenderoth, Sarah Eddy, Miles McDonough, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Michelle Smith, findings about STEM courses utilizing the active learning model illustrated higher pass rates than courses using a traditional lecture model.

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Active Learning and Technology: Designing Change for Faculty, Students, and Institutions

Active Learning and Technology: Designing Change for Faculty, Students, and Institutions
Anne Moore, Shelli Fowler, and Edward Watson

Much of the rhetoric about contemporary higher education suggests that colleges and universities need to embrace change due to advances in knowledge, technology, transportation, and more—advances that have dramatically shifted the way we all function in the modern world. Commission reports, report cards, and public agenda profiles of U.S. requirements for higher education seem to be asking for substantive change. Many years ago, Chris Argyris and Donald Schön described such transformational shifts as double-loop learning, the kind that ultimately brings about changes in an institution’s structure and processes. More to the point, however much the public rhetoric champions transformative change—the kind of organizational learning that signals a marked shift in the way colleges and universities behave—the reality is that most mature organizations and the individuals they employ resist change; and they especially resist the double-loop variety. One way to overcome such resistance is to lower learning anxiety through development programs designed to create new capabilities that people might find useful for personal, professional, or institutional reasons.

Full PDF: http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM0752.pdf
Link: http://www.educause.edu/library/erm0752