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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
‘Active Learning: Activity or Action?‟
HEA Workshop: Friday, 14th March
Dr J M Keane
Active Learning: The Wider
The none student and none tutor factors
that affect their ability to take advantage of
active learning opportunities.
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
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
When Jim makes a point that you feel
relates to one of your factors, please put
up your hand.
“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
Extract from the validation report in 2008.
BA (Hons) Business Management
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
Review Report in 2010 by CeAL (Centre for Active Learning)
Level 4 Review
•Share the teaching and learning philosophy with students – make
the pedagogy transparent at course level. See
•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
•Develop bespoke resources the course can use to develop AL
practices. See http://www.cgs.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/Doc6-
Course Level Artefacts
•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
•Rooms and infrastructure (Berkeley)
•Need for smaller seminars (through having larger lectures
•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
Can anyone offer any more context
factors relevant to achieving AL in the
Other Context Factors?
•Context to AL is important.
•Design of classrooms is the most obvious
•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.