CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Moving from Passive to Active Learning

Posted by ctlt on May 27, 2008

Thursday morning began with a presentation by Raymond Schroeder, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Springfield, using an Internet-based teleconferening platform to speak with us from Spokane, Washington.

Ray based his presentation on posts that are available on one of his blogs: Active Online Learning. He contrasted a list of teaching activities that Passive approaches prefer to a list of activities Active approaches emphasize:
Passive approaches emphasize:

  • Lectures
  • Readings
  • Watching video
  • Listening to audio
  • Observing demonstrations

Active approaches emphasize:

  • Interaction through discussion
  • Studentstudent / facultystudent interactions
  • Student presentations
  • Group projects
  • Simulations
  • Problem solving

From: http://activeonlinelearning.blogspot.com/2008/02/passive-learning-active-learning.html

Ray shared with us an engaging YouTube clip from the Digital Ethnography program at Kansas State University, a clip that provided “A Vision of Students Today.” He noted that a more passive approach could be turned into a more active approach, in this case by leading a short discussion of the online video clip we had just watched. (Class discussion was facilitated by Michael Koskinen, an Instructional and Technical Support Specialist in CTLT, who carried a wireless microphone around the room, to capture the remarks of individuals who offered comments on the clip, and at other times during the teleconference.

Ray introduced us to this discussion by Ronald Berk and others of how active learning leads to greater recall than passive learning: http://courses.science.fau.edu/~rjordan/active_learning.htm He pointed also to his blog post summarizing Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson’s landmark discussion of Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. His blog also links to a more extended consideration of the Chickering and Gamson article.

Several additional resources are available through Ray’s blog posts, notably Constructivism Online, Active Learning with PowerPoint, and Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised – Actively! Be sure to click on the titles for these posts on Ray’s blog; they link to supporting resources available online.

We encounter some technical difficulties with continuing Ray’s presentation, so we finished with watching another intriguing YouTube video from KSU’s Digital Ethnography Program: “The Machine is Us/ing Us.”

The teleconference with Ray Schroeder is available online: Moving from Passive to Active Learning.
The following time points are of particular interest:

  • Sandra’s introduction at 31:30
  • Session break around 1:13:00
  • Session resumed around 1:28:00
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