Friday, December 2, 2016

Teaching Approaches to Consider

students listening in a large lecture hallOver the past few years, there's been much discussion, evaluation, and research of the role of lecture and its place in the classroom and online courses.  Depending on variables, such as class size, discipline, instructor's teaching philosophy, etc. other strategies (i.e. Active Learning, Flipped Classroom, Learner-Centered, and POGIL - just to name a few) have surfaced with some highly adopted and recommended.

Below you will find a synopsis of each approach with links to "best practices."  I'm also interested in gaining insights from you!  I welcome you sharing your experiences should you have taught or are currently teaching one of the approaches mentioned below.

If interested, please email me ( your thoughts/experiences as I would like to delve further into each of these approaches and pepper them with your contributions in the near future.

Active Learning -
This approach allows students to "learn by doing," where students use their critical thinking skills to address the activity rather than watch or listen to a recording or lecture.  One way instructors might promote this approach would be assigning a learning activity such as a reflection assignment which would have students read, discuss, and write.  This would allow students to use their critical thinking skills and help focus the student on realizing their own attitudes and values rather on just transmitting knowledge.

Flipped Classroom -
Students working together during class
This method expects students to prepare for learning activities by watching videos or reading articles and book chapters outside of classThis "flip" will allow students to analyze/synthesize the content within instruction time instead by way of discussions or collaborative learning activities (Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Team-Based Learning (TBL), unstructured group case studies, etc.)

Learner Centered - 
This strategy allows instructors to share learning space with students where students are given control of their learning.  The role of the instructor changes from having to orchestrate the learning for the students by allowing them to take control and become self-directed learners instead.

Students discussing around a table

Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) -
According to Weimer, "POGIL originated in Chemistry and involves students working together during class on specially designed materials.  They work through a set of carefully crafted questions, the guided inquiry, which follow a three-phase “learning cycle.”   First students explore, then they invent, and finally they apply.  Instructors function as facilitators, supporting the groups in a variety of ways ad occasionally presenting material in lecture format."   
Weimer, Maryellen. Learner Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice, Josey Bass, 2002

Looking forward to your contributions!

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