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Student
n
ame:

Wikipedia Article

Student n
umber:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_learning

Title:

Active Learning

Lecturer:

Jane Ferris

Due Date:

September 25
th

Date submitted:

September 30
th


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1


Active learning

Introduction

This article is about
an educational technique. For active learning in the context of
machine learning, see
Active learning (machine learning)
.

Active lea
rning

is an umbrella term that refers to several models of instruction that
focus the responsibi
lity of learning on learners
. Bonwell and Eison (1991) popularized
this approach to instruction (
Bonwell & Eison 1991
). This "buzz word" of the 1980s
became their 19
90s report to the Association for the Study of Higher Education
(ASHE). In this report they discuss a variety of methodologies for promoting "active
learning." However according to Mayer (2004) strategies like "active learning"
developed out of the work of

an earlier group of theorists

those promoting
discovery
learning
. While there is no question that learners should be engaged during learning
and
cognitively active
, several researchers have noted that being behaviourally active
during initial learning can be detrimental to
schema acquisition

(
Mayer 2004
)
(
Kir
schner, Sweller & Clark 2006
) (Sweller & Cooper, 1985; Cooper & Sweller,
1987).

It has been suggested that students who actively engage with the material are more
likely to recall information (
Bruner 1961
), but several well
-
known authors have
argued this claim is not well supported by the literature (
Anderson, Reder & Simon
1998
)

(
Gagné 1966
) (
Mayer 2004
) (
Kirschner, Sweller & Clark 2006
). Rather than
being behaviourally active during learning, Mayer (2004) suggests learners should be
cognitively active.

Active learning exercises

Bonwell and Eison (1991) suggested le
arners work in pairs, discuss materials while
role
-
playing
,
debate
, engage in
case study
, take part in
cooperative learning
, or
produce short written exercises, etc. The argument is when should active learnin
g
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exercises be used during instruction. While it makes some sense to use these
techniques as a "follow up" exercise or as application of known principles, it may not
make sense to use them to introduce material. Proponents argue that these exercises
may be

used to create a context of material, but this context may be confusing to those
with no prior knowledge. The degree of instructor guidance students need while being
"active" may vary according to the task and its place in a teaching unit.

Active Learning

e
xamples

Examples of "active learning" activities include:

A
class discussion

may be held in person or in an online environment. This
environment allows for instructor guidance. Learners should be prepared to discuss
materials in class and this would be a

good follow
-
up activity given the unit has been
sufficiently covered already.

A
think
-
pair
-
share

activity is when learners take a minute to ponder the previous
lesson, later to discuss it with one or more of their peers, finally to share it with the
class

as part of a formal discussion. It is during this formal discussion that the
instructor should clarify misconceptions. However students need a background in the
subject matter to converse in a meaningful way. Therefore a "think
-
pair
-
share"
exercise is use
ful in situations where learners can identify and relate what they
already know to others. So preparation is key. Prepare learners with sound instruction
before expecting them to discuss it on their own.

A
learning cell

is an effective way for a pair of st
udents to study and learn together.
The learning cell was developed by Marcel Goldschmid of the Swiss Federal Institute
of Technology in Lausanne (Goldschmid, 1971). A learning cell is a process of
learning where two students alternate asking and answering

questions on commonly
read materials. To prepare for the assignment, the students will read the assignment
and write down questions that they have about the reading. At the next class meeting,
the teacher will randomly put the students in pairs. The proce
ss begins by designating
one student from each group to begin by asking one of their questions to the other.
Once the two students discuss the question. The other student will ask a question and
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they will alternate accordingly. During this time, the teache
r is going around the class
from group to group giving feedback and answering questions. This system is also
referred to as a student dyad.

A
short written exercise

that is often used is the "one minute paper." This is a good
way to review materials and pr
ovide feedback. However a "one minute paper" does
not take one minute and for students to concisely summarize it is suggested
[
who?
]

that
they have a
t least 10 minutes to work on this exercise.

While practice is useful to reinforce learning, problem solving is not always
suggested.
Sweller

(1988) found solving problems can even

have negative influence
on learning, instead he suggests that learners should study worked examples, because
this is a more efficient method of schema acquisition. So instructors are cautioned to
give learners some basic or initial instruction first, perh
aps to be followed up with an
activity based upon the above methods.

Active learning method: Learning by teaching (LdL)

An efficient instructional strategy that mixes guidance with active learning is
"Learning by teaching" (
Martin

1985, Martin/Oebel 2007). This strategy allows
students to teach the new content to each other. Of course they must be accurately
guided by instructors. This methodology was introduced during the ear
ly 1980s,
especially in Germany, and is now well
-
established in all levels of the German
educational system.
[1]

"Learning by teaching" is integration of
behaviorism

and
cognitivism

and offers a coherent framework for theory and practice.

Active learning and Policy

Policy may be satisfi
ed by demonstrating the instructional effectiveness of instruction.
Educational rubrics

are a good way to evaluate "active learning" based instruction.
These instructio
nal tools can be used to describe the various different qualities of any
activity. In addition, if given to the student, they can provide additional guidance
(here is
an example rubric
).

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In the p
ast few years
outcome
-
based education

policy has begun to limit instructors to
only using those techniques that have been shown to be effective. In the United

States
for instance, the
No Child Left Behind Act

requires those developing instruction to
show evidence of its "effectiveness."

Research supporting active

learning

A growing body of data supports active learning.
[2]

Bonwell and Eison (1991) state
that active learning strategies are comparable to lectures for achieving content
mast
ery, but superior to lectures for developing thinking and writing skills.
[3]

Should learning occur while one is behaviourally active?

Some educational literature from the

past few decades suggests initial skill acquisition
occurs best when one is cognitively active (Mayer, 2004), but not behaviourally
active.
[4]

Certainly practicing pro
cedural skills is a necessity for learning to be
automated. But while these activities may be motivating for learners, these unguided
situations can in fact leave learners less competent than when they began the
activity.
[4]

One 2007 study compared results for college students in six different versions of a
computer literacy course. In some groups, instructional elements were left out
(objectives, information, examples,
practice with feedback, review). The "practice
with feedback" is the active learning component of the study. The researchers found
that in all cases, students who had practice with feedback had better performance and
more positive attitudes than those stud
ents who did not have opportunities for
practice.
[5]

Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark
[4
]

suggest that novices be taught with direct methods of
instruction like worked examples. Sweller (2006) discusses the
worked
-
example
effect

as an alternative to

problem
-
solving for novices. However practice with
feedback is condoned and even encouraged by Sweller and his associated because
these types of learning are important for those who already acquired a schema
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(Kalyuga, Ayres, Chandler, & Sweller, 2003) the
refore there is no conflict between
Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark's views, and those of Klein and Sullivan. Each agrees
that the learner be given practice with feedback. Kirschner et al. (2006) propose
instruction should, however, begin with worked example
s.

Studying examples as an alternative to active learning
strategies

Self
-
guided instruction is possible, but Sweller and Cooper argue that it is often
arduous, clumsy, and less than efficient (Sweller and Cooper, 1985). Sweller (1988)
suggests learners sh
ould first study worked examples because this is a more efficient
method of initial instruction. Sweller and Cooper found that learners who studied
worked examples performed significantly better than learners who actively solved
problems (Sweller & Cooper,

1985; Cooper & Sweller, 1987). This was later called
the "
worked
-
example effect
" (Clark, Nguyen and Sweller, 2006).

Evidence for learning by studying worked exam
ples (the worked
-
example effect) has
been found to be useful in many domains [e.g. music, chess, athletics (Atkinson,
Derry, Renkl, & Wortham, 2000); concept mapping (Hilbert & Renkl, 2007);
geometry (Tarmizi and Sweller, 1988); physics, mathematics, or pr
ogramming
(Gerjets, Scheiter, and Catrambone, 2004)]. Finally the worked example effect is only
useful for novices (Kalyuga, Ayres, Chandler, and Sweller, 2003), so again practice is
a necessity, but only later after a student has the underlying schema in
place.

Learning in Sudbury model democratic schools

Sudbury model democratic schools criticize
today's schools
, the concept of
learning
disabilities
,
special education
, and
response to intervention
, taking the position that
every child has a different
learning style

and pace and that each child is
unique
, not
only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.

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They believe there are many reasons why children may have difficulty learning,
especially when the learning is i
mposed and the subject is something the child, or the
young, or even the adult is not interested in, as is frequently done in today's school
system.

Sudbury model democratic schools assert that there are many ways to
study

and
learn
.
They argue that learning is a process people do, not a process that is done to people;
they affirm this is true of everyone and it is basic.
[6]

The experience of Sudbury model
democratic schools, they adduce, shows there are many ways to learn without the
intervention of a teacher being imperative. They maintain that in the case o
f reading
for instance in the Sudbury model democratic schools some children learn from being
read to, memorizing the stories and then ultimately reading them. Others learn from
cereal boxes, others from game instructions, others from street signs. Some te
ach
themselves letter sounds, others syllables, others whole words. Sudbury model
democratic schools adduce that in their schools no one child has ever been forced,
pushed, urged, cajoled, or bribed into learning how to read or write, and they affirm
they
have had no dyslexia. They also assert that none of their graduates are real or
functional illiterates, and claim no one who meets their older students could ever
guess the age at which they first learned to read or write.
[7]

They also claim that in a
similar form students learn all the subjects, techniques and skills in these schools. The
staff are minor actors, the "teacher" is an adviser and helps just when asked.
[8]
[9]

Describing current instructional methods as
homogenization

and
lockstep

standardization, alternative approaches are proposed, such as the
Su
dbury model

democratic schools, an alternative approach in which they affirm children, by
enjoying personal freedom

thus
encouraged to exercise personal responsibility for
their actions
,
learn at their own pace and style

rather than following a compulsory and
chronologically
-
based curriculum.
[10]
[11]
[12]

A healthy upbringing gives free reign [
sic
] to children from the very beginnings of
their lives to recognize and express their basic

needs. The earlier this begins, and the
longer it is allowed to develop without intervention, the more likely it is that such
children will go through life with a firmly established set of inner
-
directed guidelines
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that enable them to distinguish clearly
between needs that are real for them, and
needs that are artificially introduced by others. Indeed, the worst excesses of our
consumer economy can be traced directly to the inability of people to make this
distinction, which is a result of being raised acc
ording to the principles of Industrial
Era Thinking.
[13]

As Sudbury model of democratic education schools, proponents of
unschooling

have
also claimed that children raised in this method do not suffer from learning
disabilities, thus not requiring the prevention of academic failure through intervention.

Notes

these are included for your information but we d
o
not use notes or footnotes in academic research/reports

^

Jean
-
Pol Martin:
Zum Aufbau didaktischer Teilkompetenzen beim Schüler.
Fremdsprachenunterricht auf der lerntheoretische
n Basis des
Informationsverarbeitungsansatzes
. Dissertation. Tübingen: Narr. 1985; Jean
-
Pol
Martin, Guido Oebel (2007):
Lernen durch Lehren: Paradigmenwechsel in der
Didaktik?
, In:
Deutschunterricht in Japan
, 12, 2007, 4

21 (Zeitschrift des
Japanischen Leh
rerverbandes, ISBN: 1342
-
6575)

^

http://advan.physiology.org/cgi/content/short/30/4/159

^

Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. ERIC Digest
, Bonwell &

Eison, 1991.

^
a

b

c

Kirschner P.A., Sweller, J., and Clark, R.E. (2006)
Why minimal guidance
during instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of con
structivist,
discovery, problem
-
based, experiential, and inquiry
-
based teaching
. Educational
Psychologist 41 (2) 75

86

^

Martin, F., Klein, J.D., & Sullivan, H. (2007) "
The impact of instructional elements
in computer
-
based instruction"
British Journal of Educational Technology 38

(4),
623

636.

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^

Greenberg, D. (1987) The Sudbury Valley School Exp
erience
Back to Basics
.
Accessed December 6, 2008.

^

Greenberg, D. (1987) Free at Last, The Sudbury Valley Sc
hool, Chapter 5,
The
Other 'R's
.

^

Greenberg, D. (1987), Free at Last, The Sudbury Valley School, Chapter 19,
Learning
.

^

Greenberg, H. (1987) The Sudbury Valley School Experience,
The Art of Doing
Nothing
. Accessed December 6, 2008.

^

Greenberg, D. (1992), Education in America, A View from Sudbury Valley,
"Special Education"


A noble Cause Sacrificed to Standardization
.

^

Greenberg, D
. (1992), Education in America, A View from Sudbury Valley,
"Special Education"


A Noble Cause Run Amok
.

^

Greenberg, D. (1987), Free at Last, The Sudbury Valley School, Chapter

1,
And
'Rithmetic
.

^

Greenberg, D. (1994), Worlds in Creation,
The Meaning of Education
. Accessed
December
7, 2008.

References

Anderson, John R.
; Reder, Lynne M.;
Simon, Herbert A.
; K. Anders Ericsson; Robert
Glaser (1998). "Radical constructivism and cognitive psychology". in
D. Ravitch
.
Brookings papers on education policy
. Was
hington, D.C.: Brookings Institute Press.
pp.

227

278.

Atkinson, R.K.; Derry, S.J.; Renkl, A.; Wortham, D.W. (2000). "Learning from
examples: Instructional principles from the worked examples research".
Review of
Educational Research

70
: 181

214.

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Bonwell
, C.; Eison, J. (1991).
Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom
AEHE
-
ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1
. Washington, D.C.: Jossey
-
Bass.
ISBN

1
-
87838
-
00
-
87
.

Bruner, J.S. (1961). "The act of discovery".
Harvard Educational Review

31

(1): 21

32.

Clark, R.; Nguy
en, F.; Sweller, J. (2006).
Efficiency in Learning: Evidence
-
Based
Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load
. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
ISBN

0
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7879
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-
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.

Gagné, R. (1966). "Varieties of learning and the concept of discovery: A critical
appraisal".
Shulman, L. S. and Keislar, E.

R. (Eds) Learning by discovery: A critical
appraisal
. Chicago: Rand McNally and Co.

Gerjets, P. Scheiter, K. and Catrambone, R. (2004). Designing instructional examples
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pro
cedures.
Instructional Science. 32

(1) 33

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Kalyuga, S.; Ayres, P.; Chandler, P.; Sweller, J. (2003). "The Expertise Reversal
Effect".
Educational Psychologist

38

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doi
:
10.1207/S15326985EP3801_4
.

Kirschner, P.A.; Sweller, J.; Clark, R.E. (2006).
"Why mi
nimal guidance during
instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery,
problem
-
based, experiential, and inquiry
-
based teaching"
.
Educational Psychologist

41

(2): 75

86.
doi
:
10.1207/s15326985ep4102_1
.
http://www.cogtech.usc.edu/pu
blications/kirschner_Sweller_Clark.pdf
.

Hilbert, T.S., & Renkl, A. (2007). Learning how to Learn by Concept Mapping: A
Worked
-
Example Effect.
Oral presentation at the 12th Biennial Conference EARLI
2007

in Budapest, Hungary

Mayer, R. (2004). "Should ther
e be a three
-
strikes rule against pure discovery
learning? The case for guided methods of instruction".
American Psychologist

59

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14

19.
doi
:
10.1037/0003
-
066X.59.1.14
.
PMID

14736316
.

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Sweller, J. (1
988). "Cognitive load during problem solving: Effects on learning".
Cognitive Science

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Sweller, J.; Cooper, G.A. (1985). "The use of worked examples as a substitute for
problem solving in learning algebra".
Cognition and Instruction

2

(1): 59

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doi
:
10.1207/s1532690xci0201_3
.

Tarmizi, R.A. and Sweller, J. (1988). Guidance during mathematical problem solving.
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