slideshare ppt on research

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Active Learning Work ! A Review of the Research

MICHAEL PRINCE
Department of Chemical Engineering
Bucknell University

INTRODUCTION
Active learning has received considerable attention over the past several years. Often presented or perceived as a radical change from traditional instruction, the topic frequently polarizes faculty.Active learning has attracted strong advocates among faculty looking for alternatives to traditional teaching methods, while skeptical faculty regard active learning as another in a long line of educational fads. For many faculty there remain questions about what active learning is and how it differs from traditional engineering education, since this is already “active” through homework assignments and laboratories. Adding to the confusion, engineering faculty do not always understand how the common forms of active learning differ from each other and most engineering faculty are not inclined to comb the educational literature for answers. This study addresses each of these issues. First, it defines active learning and distinguishes the different types of active learning most frequently discussed in the engineering literature. A core element is identified for each of these separate methods in order to differentiate between them, as well as to aid in the subsequent analysis of their effectiveness. Second, the study provides an overview of relevant cautions for the reader trying to draw quick conclusions on the effectiveness of active learning from the educational literature.

Active learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process. In short, active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing. 

While this definition could include traditional activities such as homework, in practice active learning refers to activities that are introduced into the classroom. The core elements of active learning are student activity and engagement in the learning process. Active learning is often contrasted to the traditional lecture where students passively receive information from the instructor.