Faculty Participate in the Second Session of Lunch & Learn Series: Active Learning Classroom Techniques

The Center for Educational Technologies, in partnership with Instructional Technology Services (ITS) welcomed faculty to the second installment of the Lunch & Learn Series, entitled “Active Learning Classroom Techniques.” In the second edition of this three-part series, participants discussed active learning and what it means for the classroom. During the workshop, attendees worked alongside Isabel Elizalde of Instructional Technology Services to practice and review different types of active learning techniques and how each can be adapted to fit the size and style of the classroom.

“My hope is that faculty will walk away feeling less afraid of taking on active learning. I truly believe it is what we should be practicing within the classroom, rather than some of the more traditional methods. I know that all faculty have the ability to employ active learning techniques within their teaching. Most people are already doing it, they just don’t know that it is active learning.” —Isabel Elizalde, Senior Information Technology Consultant

Active learning consists of “instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing” (Bonwell & Eison, 1991). These strategies support students to take ownership of their learning by incorporating opportunities to participate in activities where they can construct new knowledge and apply their skills. For many, there is hesitation around the use of active learning because of misconceptions regarding these techniques. Some question whether active learning is effective, enjoyed by students, or if it takes away from time needed within the classroom. Through sample activities within the workshop, faculty were able to dismiss these misconceptions on their own through example and experience the benefits of utilizing this type of teaching style within the classroom.

The session highlighted multiple benefits from utilizing active learning techniques:

  1. Student grades increase an average of 6% when employing these techniques.
  2. Educators can cover up to 20% more material during a classroom session.
  3. Most of the work is done by the student, which places the onus of learning on them.
  4. These techniques promote recall and deeper understanding of the material.
  5. The different modes of delivery support different learning styles.
  6. Active learning maintains student concentration and encourages higher-level thinking skills like critical thinking.
Lunch and Learn participants in discussion group

Overall, the session was a clever combination of discussion and practice, with attendees being able to experience how these techniques can be used when teaching new content. They were also given the opportunity to apply these techniques to a sample scenario within their own field of expertise. For many attendees, the session was encouraging, informative, and inspired them to actively think about how these techniques can be leveraged within their classroom.

“I love active learning and am constantly trying to figure out ways to implement these techniques into my teaching. I want to learn about different techniques that I can employ, or simple adjustments I can make which do not take a lot of personal time or time away from what we are doing within the classroom. Having the opportunity to see these techniques and experience them firsthand was empowering, and opened my eyes up to several different possibilities.”
— Andra Voges, D.V.M., Clinical Associate Professor Veterinary Radiology

In supplement to today’s session, Instructional Technology Services will be hosting open hours for one-on-one consultations to support faculty in their efforts to develop and apply active learning techniques within their classroom. These open hours are available to any faculty member interested in meeting with a consultant. Please see the schedule below:

Active Learning Classroom Techniques Open Liaison Session
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 from 1PM – 4PM in the Center for Educational Technologies suite
Enjoy a one-on-one consultation on how you can implement active learning within your course! Bring your course materials (i.e. syllabi, course objectives, learning objectives, etc.) and your questions, and let an ITS team member work with you to brainstorm different techniques you can employ within your classroom setting.

Did you miss today’s session? Mark your calendar to join us for the final session of our Lunch & Learn series outlined below:

10 Tips for Creating Accessible Course Content [Register Here]
Tuesday December 11 from 11:30 to 12:30 with the presenter staying from 12:30 – 1:30 for additional questions.
An overview of 10 tips that will generally improve the learning experience for individuals with non-apparent disabilities and who use adaptive technologies to support their learning. The tips will also improve accessibility and usability for all students in your course.

Creating Accessible Content Open Liaison Session
December 18, 2018 from 1PM – 4PM in Center for Educational Technologies Suite
Connect with members of the ITS team to discuss how you can create accessible content.

Please join the Center for Educational Technologies and Instructional Technology Services for the final session of the Lunch & Learn series. You will not want to miss it!