As Schuell, 1986, p.429 clearly explains:
“the teacher’s fundamental task is to get students to engage in learning activities that are likely to result in achieving the intended learning outcomes. It is helpful to remember that what the student does is actually more important than what the teacher does”
What Schuell was referring to was simply about active learning as opposed to passive learning, Therefore, we want you to think of learning activities as active learning activities.
|Pause for Reflection
|Throughout a lecture, particularly after stating an important point or defining a key concept, stop presenting and allow students time to think about the information. After waiting, ask if anyone needs to have anything clarified. Ask students to review their notes and ask questions about what they’ve written so far.
|Pose a question for each group while you circulate around the room answering questions, asking further questions, and keeping the groups on task. After allowing time for group discussion, ask students to share their discussion points with the rest of the class.
|Like peer review, students may evaluate group presentations or documents to assess the quality of the content and delivery of information.
|Students use technology to get a deeper understanding of course concepts.
|Any technology learners must learn to use as part of their course.
|Inquiry Learning Activities
|Students use an investigative process to discover concepts for themselves. After the instructor identifies an idea or concept, a question is posed that asks students to make observations.
|A topic is divided into smaller, interrelated pieces. Each member of a team is assigned to read and become an expert on a different topic. After each person has become an expert on their piece of the puzzle, they teach the other team members about that puzzle piece.
|Ask students to comment on a video they are required to watch.
|Use polls to check understanding, gather student opinions, or to challenge students position on something.
Collaborate Ultra Poll (does not keep data)
|Ask students to respond to a question or a simple research activity with a video.
|Virtual Field Trips
|Ask students to explore a virtual field trip which is a guided exploration through the world wide web that organizes a collection of pre-screened, thematically based web pages into a structured online learning experience.
|Several websites available online
|Use concept maps to visually represent information and concepts
|Use TPS to get students to work together to solve a problem or answer a question
|During a brief pause, students alone or in pairs are asked to answer a question in writing about the weekly content. The submitted responses can be used to gauge student comprehension of the material.
|Quizzes can be used at the beginning of a session or after delivery
|The technique consists of asking students to jot down a quick response to one question: “What was the muddiest point in [the lecture, discussion, homework assignment, film, etc.]?” The term “muddiest” means “most unclear” or “most confusing (Vanderbilt University)
|Real world case studies and problem solving
|Students work in groups, applying knowledge gained from lectures or reading materials to a given situation
|Peer Led Instructions
|Have students prepare and present course material to the class
Narrated PowerPoint Slides
|Students provide their thoughts and ideas to a question or prompt on a post-it.
|Pros and Cons Grid
|Get students to list advantages and disadvantages on some issue.
Shared MS Document
Shared Google Document
|This activity involves the exploration of a topic or concept by asking questions only.
Shared MS Document
Shared Google Document
|Ask students to curate relevant, meaningful and current resources on a topic
|Provide student with the steps to a process in a disorganised way and ask them to reconstruct the proper sequence
|Bloom Taxonomy Questioning
|Use the verbs remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create to design questions.
|TopHat Innovative Activities to Engage Your Students
|You can use some brainstorming/thinking tools to brainstorm and generate ideas with your students using the templates
Tips to promote engagement
If students are resistant to engaging in activities:
- Introduce the concept early in the course and clearly specify expectations and roles for each activity.
- Explain reasons and connection to assessments and further learning.
- Use a variety of active learning strategies in a targeted way, e.g. include several of the activities during a session If activities are taking too much time.
If students are taking too much time:
- Consider whether the task can be shared between peers.
- Consider how pre-class work could prepare students.
If students are resistant to group work:
- Consider whether if the activity is challenging enough to need two or more working together.
- Ensure the activity requires different perspectives and experience.
- Make group work a regular experience, with expectations and required participation.