Our Active Learning Conference 2017 was an opportunity for delegates to share their successful active learning practices as well as research into active learning
Active learning focuses on students actively engaging in their learning through active problem-based learning, inverted or flipped classroom approaches, Team-Based Learning (TBL), SCALE-UP, and technology-enhanced active learning (TEAL).
The conference linked Team-Based Learning at University of Bradford, SCALE-UP at Nottingham Trent University and our own active learning practices. It was one of the seventeen projects funded by HEFCE's Catalyst Fund. Read more about the project on the Vice Chancellor's blog.
The Active Learning Conference aimed to:
The hashtag for the conference was #altalc.
View illustrations by Dr Michelle Fava and Natalie Eldred.
Professor Mike Sharples, The Open University
View the slides
with Simon Tweddell and Beck McCarter, University of Bradford
We should adopt active learning strategies to make best use of our time with our students so it is crucial that the tasks we set effectively deliver high levels of student engagement and challenge students to apply their learning.
In Team-Based Learning (TBL) we use the simple but effective 4S model to structure our tasks. This workshop will be delivered in a TBL format so that participants can explore the anatomy of 4S task design, experience at least two types of active learning tasks, and develop and use criteria to review tasks. Finally, we will share a peer review tool to aid future task development and signpost further resources.
with Professor Simon Lancaster, University of East Anglia
Prof Lancaster believes that the success of all active learning pedagogies depends on the nature of the questions we ask. Active learning is not about finding out what our students know but about providing opportunities for them to learn something new. To achieve this, a question needs to be conceptual in nature, requiring not recall but understanding and application. It also needs to be pitched at the right level. Too easy and everybody can answer. Too hard and nobody can answer. By employing questions in “The Goldilocks Zone”, we can lever the social dimension of the lecture theatre experience to collectively construct understanding. In this masterclass, we will discuss how to ensure the answers we select surface all the misconceptions. We’ll explore approaches to question co-creation with students and the forging of learning partnerships. Above all, Prof Lancaster practises what he preaches and the masterclass will be highly interactive.
with Jane McNeil, Michaela Borg, Ellie Kennedy and Zena Rashid, Nottingham Trent University
SCALE-UP is an active learning approach where students learn concepts using online materials before they come to class, and then apply them in a series of enquiry-based, problem-solving activities in the sessions.
In 2013, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) became the first UK University to pilot SCALE-UP in an institutional, multi-disciplinary project. Today, we’re also interested in the possibilities of using SCALE-UP alongside other active learning pedagogies to address unexplained disparities in progression and attainment.
In this masterclass, you will have the opportunity to: