EDUCAUSE online book, Learning Spaces,Diana G. Oblinger, Editor (2006).
Learning Spaces focuses on how learner expectations influence such spaces, the principles and activities that facilitate learning, and the role of technology from the perspective of those who create learning environments: faculty, learning technologists, librarians, and administrators.
Collaborative Learning Techniques: A handbook for college faculty.
Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P., and Major, C.H. (2005). San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons.
Provides short videos that illustrate issues that may occur when implementing active learning, including student complaints, the time-consuming nature of the work, and group issues.
Students working in Design Studio, Room 1094
You could say learning to teach in active learning spaces is like learning to ride a bike. But how does one combine active + learning? The kids in the photo above seem to be undaunted by the process of peddling and reading at the same time.
The positives of teaching in active learning spaces is it includes increased learning gains and students report high satisfaction with the learning environment. However, these spaces can present a number of teaching challenges, including: a room with no front or focal point, noise and other distractions that may impact individuals, and a need for mastery of the technology. Teaching in an active learning space is likely to require an investment of time, effort, and perhaps a major shift in the way one thinks about teaching and learning.
Let's take a look at a very popular active learning teaching strategy...the dreaded group assignment.
Are you thinking about dysfunctional behavior when students are assigned group work? Behaviors like social loafing or domination are typical in group work. The groups aren't bad, it's what the groups are being asked to do that is important. Think about interaction and interdependence; how can we force interdependence? How can we design activities where they need every other person on the team? Where the activity provides individual and group accountability.
Background Knowledge Probes
A background knowledge probe (BKP) asks for basic, simple responses (short answers, circling / showing of hands, multiple choice questions) from students who are about to begin a session or study a new concept.
State the issue and generate ideas regarding the issue, having agreed upon a time limit. Categorize, combine, condense and refine ideas. Assess potential solutions.
“Write around the room”
Have students write a closing or “exit summary” individually or in pairs, listing or summarizing the main ideas about the topic presented during the session. Students can compare and contrast their summaries in pairs to build upon one another’s understanding of the material.