One of the most important findings in educational research is that students learn best by doing. Asking students questions based on key concepts engages students’ interest and can result in increased understanding. Instructors also learn what concepts students find most confusing. This session discusses the reasons for interactive teaching and provides examples of questions and techniques that can be used or adapted for teaching.
After completing this session, the participant will be able to:
- Apply relevant research on active learning to your teaching.
- Discuss the impact of active learning exercises in the classroom and evaluate the time requirements for different active learning strategies.
- Develop activities and/or techniques that will help students achieve the learning objectives in your course
- In preparation for this session, please complete the following readings:
- Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13(6), 4–16. [PDF]
- Cooper, J. L., Robinson, P., & Ball, D. (2003). The interactive lecture: Reconciling group and active learning strategies with traditional instructional formats. Exchanges, the Online Journal of Teaching and Learning in the CSU, 1161. Retrieved from http://www.exchangesjournal.org/viewpoints/1161_Cooper.html [PDF]
- Smith, M. K., Wood, W. B., Adams, W. K., Wieman, C., Knight, J. K., Guild, N., & Su, T. T. (2009). Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions. Science, 323(5910), 122–124. [PDF]
We have provided a session outline for this session. The outline is designed to serve as a guide while you are participating in the video and interactive activities and it may also serve as a support for note taking.
Two file formats of the outlines are provided for this session. The Adobe Reader [PDF] format is provided for easy viewing and printing, and the Microsoft Word [DOC] format is provided to allow you to add your notes by typing them directly into the outline during the session.
Additionally, the session presentation slides are provided for your reference [PDF].
NOTE: This section of the session page will provide a link to the outline file. However, this and all other course files are also available in the Session Files folder located at the bottom of this and every session page.
Session Chat Room
For this session we will utilize a chat room to provide you with real-time interaction with your peers and instructors. During the session time, the instructors will be logged into and available in the provided chat room. This tool provides a wonderful opportunity for you to interact with your instructors and peers in real-time.
Please use the chat room during the scheduled times to send and receive real-time messages between your peers and instructors regarding the session content. The chat room is provided as a real-time interactive tool for you to post questions and comments to your instructors.
We recommend that during each scheduled session you have two browser windows open: one to display the chat window and the other to display the online course session page. By having two windows open at the same time, both the chat room and session content will be visible at all times.
In addition to the chat room, during this segment we will use an online web-based system to collect answers on a number of questions. In preparation, navigate to the Socrative web site (www.socrative.com). The room number for this session is 202247. This system will allow the instructor to collect answers from students using a browser on their computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Be sure to monitor the Session 5 Chat Room during this session for the prompts from the instructors to answer a number of questions.
Welcome to the final session on interactive teaching and active learning in our Best Practices for Teaching and Learning course! This session will discuss the benefits of one on-one teaching and active learning methods that can be incorporated into your own classroom. These active learning methods are grouped into 3 categories of activities based on duration: those that will take less than 2 minutes, those that will take 2 to 5 minutes, and 5 to 20 minutes of your class time.
During this session, we will interact with each other using pre-recorded video lectures that include pauses where you will engage in a variety of activities. Please ensure that you have the chat window available during this session for directions, questions, and comments from your instructors and peers. Some of the activities will require you to interact with your peers, watch additional videos, and post responses to provided discussion forums located within the online course room.
We look forward to the opportunity to interact with you in the online chat room as well as during this session.
During the video, be prepared to pause the video and think about the questions posed.
Download the transcript for the Session 5 Introduction video.
Bloom’s 2-Sigma Effect
Benjamin Bloom’s research findings regarding instructional methods will be the focus of this part of the Best Practices for Teaching and Learning session.
Download the transcript for the Bloom’s 2-Sigma Effect video.
Active Learning Methods
In this video segment, we will discuss how we can incorporate active learning methods as a means to incorporate the benefits of one-on-one teaching into a classroom setting.
Download the transcript for the Active Learning Methods video.
Active Learning Methods: <2 Minutes
Let us discuss how we can incorporate active learning methods that take less than 2 minutes as a means to incorporate some of the benefits of one-on-one teaching into our teaching.
Download the transcript for the Active Learning Methods: <2 Minutes video.
Active Learning Methods: 2-5 Minutes
Now let us go through several examples of brief active learning activities that will take between 2 and 5 minutes of class time.
In addition to the chat room, during this segment we will use an online web based system to collect answers on a number of questions. In preparation, navigate to the Socrative web site (www.socrative.com). The room number for this session is 202247. Be sure to monitor the Session 5 Chat Room during this session for the prompts from the instructors to answer a number of questions.
Download the transcript for the Active Learning Methods: 2-5 Minutes video.
Session 5 Activity 2: Discussion Forum for Questions on 2-5 Minute Active Learning Methods
Active Learning Methods: 5-20 Minutes Activities
Now lets go through activities that will take longer to implement in class. They are either activities that contain long discussion or demonstration, or activities that include participation of the whole class.
Download the transcript for the Active Learning Methods: 5-20 Minutes Activities video.
Session 5 Activity 3: Discussion Forum for Questions on 5-20 Minute Active Learning Methods
This part of the video will guide you through a few interactive activities to get you thinking about incorporating this interactive methods into your own classroom.
During this video you will instructed to pause the video and post questions and responses to the chat room or discussion forum.
Download the transcript for the Interactive Activities video.
Prior to leaving this session, follow the MUD card link and complete the survey to provide the instructors with information regarding your understanding and any remaining questions you may have. Remember that the MUD card helps us understand how you are doing and if there are topics that we still need to address. We look forward to your comments and feedback. Thank you!
Session 5 Activity 4: Discussion Forum for Active Learning Activities Pair-Share Activity
Session 5 Activity 5: Discussion Forum for Active Learning Methods Think-Pair-Share Activity
Session 5 MUD card: Interactive Teaching and Active LearningFeedback
Click the Post-Session Assignment link for the instructions and requirements for this session’s assignment. Note that this assignment will not be evaluated but is designed to help you enhance and reflect on your learning.
Post-Session Assignment for Interactive Teaching and Active LearningForum
This brings us to the end of our course. This video segment will highlight the topics introduced throughout this course, and leave you with our parting thoughts.
Additional Session Files
Active Learning Strategies (PDF)
Active Learning Strategies (DOC)
Download the Session 5 Interactive Teaching and Active Learning full video [323 MB, ZIP].
Download the Conclusion full video [19 MB, ZIP].