- Prepare students – set expectations.
- Keep pre-class assignments reasonable.
- Be intentional about pre-class assignment media. If there is a reading assignment and a video, are they equivalent or do learners need to use both?
- Pre-class quiz should be conceptual, meant to ensure learners are prepared to interact in class.
- In-class activities should be aimed at higher order skills.
- Revise the assessment to steer toward integrative questions
- Think-Pair-Share is an active learning technique that can be used in classes of all sizes.
- After a question is posed to the class, students are asked:
- First to think of or write their answers independently,
- Then pair or convene into small groups to discuss their answers
- Finally share their group’s responses with the class.
- Variations of think pair share can include: Pair-Share, in which students are given a problem and read and think prior to class, Think-Pair, with students being given the opportunity to think about and discuss a question in class, and then asked to write their answers independently in or after class. Think-Pair-Share can be combined with voting mechanisms for variations such as think-vote-pair share, think-pair-vote-share, etc.
- Think-Pair-Share has multiple benefits for the learner as well as the instructor including increased learner participation, increased learner facility with oral presentation, greater opportunity for feedback, and more opportunity for engagement with higher order learning tasks.
» Think Pair Share Summary (PDF)
Practical Tips for Active Learning in the Classroom
» Developing Instructional Sessions (PDF)
» Allow thinking time before discussion (PDF)
» Ask students to explain their answers (PDF)
» Avoid giving hints (PDF)
» Confirmation (PDF)
» Emphasize effort and improvement over ability (PDF)
» Frequent practice (PDF) 1 of 2
» Targeted practice - a follow-up to frequent practice (PDF) 2 of 2
» Immediate feedback (PDF)
» Peer explanation (PDF)
» The Random (or Cold) call (PDF)
Large Group Active Learning
(Adapted from the Scott Freeman / Ben Wiggins Faculty Development 2015 Seminar)
» General Introduction and Evidence for Active Learning (video)
» Impact on Learning Gaps for Disadvantaged and Underrepresented Minority Students (video)
» Introducing and Framing an In-Class Activity (video)
» Think, Pair, Share Technique (video)
» Using Clickers and Leading Discussions (video)
» Using Random Call (video)
» Using Interrupted Case Studies (video)
» Course Evaluation and Professional Development (video)
Small Group Active Learning
In this video, Dr. Patricia Kritek offers tips for teaching in small groups. The audience for this talk included faculty preparing to teach HuBio content to undergraduate medical students in groups as large as 24 students.