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Active learning: the wider context - Jim Keane

Presentation at the HEA-funded workshop 'Activity or action? Theory and evidence to support the use of active learning pedagogies in Business Management'.

Based on a consideration of the constructivist underpinnings of Active Learning (AL) pedagogies and evidence from tutors who have incorporated group projects, business simulations and Problem-Based-Learning (PBL) into their courses, this workshop will support the notion that Active Learning pedagogies provide a radical and effective departure from traditional approaches.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event: http://bit.ly/1iCpOd3

For further details of the HEA's work on active and experiential learning in the Social Sciences, please see: http://bit.ly/17NwgKX

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Active learning: the wider context - Jim Keane

  1. 1. ‘Active Learning: Activity or Action?‟ HEA Workshop: Friday, 14th March Dr J M Keane Active Learning: The Wider Context
  2. 2. The none student and none tutor factors that affect their ability to take advantage of active learning opportunities. Wider Context
  3. 3. To engage workshop attendees in a discussion of the importance of context in active learning pedagogies. To share experience of how active learning was facilitated on a large undergraduate degree programme at UoG. To highlight some of the course level contexts that need to be „managed‟ in order to promote active learning. Aim
  4. 4. Please write down three context factors you feel are important in creating active learning opportunities in the classroom. Read the letter from Professor Nolan at the University of California, Berkeley Activity: 10 Minutes
  5. 5. When Jim makes a point that you feel relates to one of your factors, please put up your hand. Your Role
  6. 6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfT_hoiuY8w Classroom Context
  7. 7. “Whilst lectures and tutorials will be used, more emphasis will be placed on the in- class and out of class activities such as learning clinics, projects and coaching sessions. Students will be supported to display the skills of independent learners and encouraged to seek out what they need from academic staff.” Extract from the validation report in 2008. BA (Hons) Business Management
  8. 8. An initial survey of the first year‟s operation of the new Business Management programmes at the University of Gloucestershire indicated that students were: “more engaged in active learning approaches – showing more emphasis on synthesis, organisation and less on knowledge transmission”; “more active participants in the learning process and involved in discovery processes”; and “more engaged in group activities, formally and informally, and working with authentic situations” Review Report in 2010 by CeAL (Centre for Active Learning) Level 4 Review
  9. 9. •Share the teaching and learning philosophy with students – make the pedagogy transparent at course level. See http://ideaedu.org/sites/default/files/paperidea_53.pdf •Recognise the importance of metacognition in various ways. •Ensure there is an assessment strategy which underpins AL (PBL/reflective papers /research on real world „messy‟ issues/integrative challenges at each level etc) •Require colleagues to make explicit statements about what their students will be doing in their classes. This is not about the curriculum or learning outcomes. See http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/strategies/index. html •Develop bespoke resources the course can use to develop AL practices. See http://www.cgs.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/Doc6- GetStarted_ActiveLearningHandbook.pdf Course Level Artefacts
  10. 10. •Staff resistance to change/challenge •Need for champions (20% of tutors will likely achieve 80% of the AL outcomes at course level (Pareto Principle)) •Overall assessment portfolio needs to be actively managed (e.g. ensure PBL/reflection/application etc) •Integrative modules are important (e.g. simulations) •Supportive concepts across the whole course (e.g. sustainability) •Management buy in (and investment, for example, in staff development) •Rooms and infrastructure (Berkeley) •Need for smaller seminars (through having larger lectures perhaps?). •Overall, the question is whether AL is a cultural characteristic of the course, such that it is embedded in the behaviours and Course Level Issues
  11. 11. Can anyone offer any more context factors relevant to achieving AL in the classroom? Other Context Factors?
  12. 12. •Context to AL is important. •Design of classrooms is the most obvious context. •Other contexts are about course level design, practices, behaviours and attitudes. •Courses which practice AL can be seen in the various artefacts they produce. •Particular issues need to be addressed by those with course level responsibilities. Summary