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Active Learning Guidelines Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Active Learning Guidelines

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


What is the Value of Active Learning to the Students?
The most important value is that active learning increases students' retention and compre­hension of the course material. Tasks to be accomp­lished become explicit. Active learning utilizes the students' data and knowledge base. Students have an opport­unity to provide personal insights and interp­ret­ation (develop their own answers). The process allows students to experiment with ideas, to develop concepts, and to integrate concepts into systems.

Research shows that active learning seeks to engage a greater range of students in effective learning. Furthe­rmore, it positively affects the attitude of students toward self and peers in the learning process. Active learning develops social experi­ences between students and between teacher and students. It can build community within the classroom.

What is the Value of Active Learning to the Teacher?
Active learning concen­trates on the teaching function. It helps the teacher select objectives at the correct level of difficulty to meet the students' needs. The teacher encourages the students to be respon­sible for their own learning. Active learning brings the students into the organi­zation, thinking, and problem solving process of the discip­line. Active learning also gives the teacher time to perform the helping teacher functions of coach, listener, and advocate.

Professor is Student Oriented

· Course begins where the students are, not where the professor is
· Though students are expected to bring needed skills and background knowledge and to be self-m­oti­vated, the professor also accepts respon­sib­ilities for motiva­tion, clarity, and diagno­sti­c/s­upp­ortive teaching
· Students are treated with the same dignity and respect expected by the professor
· Individual differ­ences are expected, welcomed, and supported

Students Partic­ipate in Goal Setting

· Some goals are provided by professor
· Students create or select additional goals
· Goals are indivi­dua­lized (different students may have different goals)

Classroom Climate Collegia- Suppor­tiv­e-S­pon­taneous

· Everyone knows and uses everyone else's name
· Everyone knows (and respects) everyone else's backgr­ound, current position, interests, goals, etc.
· Professor does no more than 50% of the talking and no more than 75% of the decision making
· Discus­sion, group work, and active partic­ipation is encouraged and expected

Activities are Proble­m-C­entered and Studen­t-D­riven

· Students are expected to be active learners
· Course is built upon real problems that relate to student goals and interests
· Some easier problems are dealt with early in the course and are used to provide paradigms and activity models
· Students have some flexib­ility in problem selection
· Busy work and unnece­ssary repetition are minimized
· Whenever possible, students work at own pace and on own schedule
· Students are encour­age­d/r­equired to work together in groups and to provide sugges­tions, feedback, and support to one another

Assessment is Continuous and Supportive

· Formative develo­pmental feedback is emphasized over summative grades
· Profes­sor's comments focus upon success and sugges­tions for improv­ement rather than upon mistakes and correc­tions
· Students are allowe­d/e­xpected to revise and resubmit work that does not meet expected standards, and summative grades are based upon revised work
· Profes­sor's role is primarily to help students toward success, not merely to point out their shortc­omings; students should build pride in accomp­lis­hments and existing abilities
· All assessment should be criter­ion­-re­fer­enced rather than normative
· Assessment involves facts/­con­cep­ts/­app­lic­ations
· Assessment is often authentic

Develo­pmental Not Direct­ive­/Pr­ese­nta­tional

· Students are active creators of knowledge, not passive receivers of inform­ation
· Multiple answers (rather than one right answer) are often accepted
· Emphasis is upon unders­tanding and applic­ation rather than upon memori­zation and repetition
· Professor teaches discip­linary (subject area) methods and provides access to inform­ation; students gather, organize, and use inform­ation
· Professor helps students to understand learning styles and methods and help students to identify and remediate any personal learning problems
· The methods of the discipline are as (or more) important than the content
· Professor guides but does not entirely dictate task identi­fic­ation, activities sequen­cing, and working strategies
· Newer techno­logies, media, content, and methods are emphasized
· Students are allowed broad flexib­ility and encouraged toward self-d­ire­ction
· Professor emphasizes and teaches metaco­gnition

Multi-­level Outcomes are Expected

Learning includes:
· Facts and inform­ation
· Concepts and unders­tanding
· Processes and applic­ations
· Metaco­gnition and reflec­tions