howtocbc Pulse: Active Learning Toolkit

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howtocbc Pulse: Active Learning Toolkit
By howtocbc • Issue #5 • View online
Hello Teacher-Creators,
We hope you had a wonderful fortnight 😀
In the last newsletter we dove into the north star of Learner Centred Teaching, Learner Outcomes. We hope you were able to write your own 💥 Learner Outcomes.
This time we present one of the most effective sets of tools available to a teacher-creator to help learners achieve their outcomes, 🏃 Active Learning.

What is 🏃 Active Learning?
Active Learning is a set of techniques of learning and teaching that engage learners through various tasks apart from simply listening to lectures.
These methods increase student participation in class and improve engagement with the learning material.
Why must you use Active Learning?
Because of the forgetting curve
Research has shown that new information we receive immediately starts decaying from our memory, with 75% of new information we receive being lost in 6 days if not applied
Crucially, for teachers and learners this means that passively listening to lectures is a tool mostly fit for short term learning and retention. 
True long term learning only occurs if the knowledge gained is applied in various contexts
How can you use Active Learning in your Cohort Based Course?
We find that active learning methods are very effective when employed in class during live sessions. 
To get started with incorporating active learning in class, ask yourself, what is the learner doing in class? Design your lesson plan to ensure that the learner is doing various tasks other than simply listening to someone lecture. 
Below are examples of various tasks the learner could be engaged in. These range from simple activities to more complex ones.
🤫 Silent reflection. Give your learner a chance to absorb newly introduced complex ideas or insights.
🙋🏽 Participating in polls (Zoom, Google Meet) / responding in chat to ❓ Multiple Choice Questions. Good method to get a pulse of learner understanding and to gauge prior knowledge.
🎤 Unmuting mic to ask / answer questions.
✍️ Solo writing. This can be on paper or a shared Google Doc workbook etc.
👥 Brainstorming with peers in smaller groups. This can be accomplished using break out rooms (Zoom, Google Meet).
🧙🦹 Role play.
🗣🗣 Group discussions / case studies after assigning reading / content viewing as an asynchronous activity before class.
👨‍🏫 Demonstrations. Our own course on designing CBCs has a demonstration to the entire cohort as one of its learner outcomes.
Active Learning Toolkit
Active Learning Toolkit
Tips
Integrating active learning effectively in your teaching requires careful thought, and plenty of practice! Here are some tips we have found to be useful.
  • First, create safe spaces where students can freely express themselves, make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Activities must serve the achievement of learner outcomes. So incorporate these methods mindfully. More complex activities do not automatically mean better outcomes for learners!
  • Designing group activities can be hard in the beginning. Here are some tips for planning group activities in class.
  • Clearly communicate to learners the goals and structure of activities they may participate in. Provide clear guidelines where necessary.
What next?
Have you used any of the tools in the CBC Active Learning toolkit yet? 
✔ If yes, tell us about your experience! 
🏁 If not, get started right away with how you could incorporate these methods in your courses!
💡 If you think we have missed any, tell us, and we will feature you and your input in our blog!
One more thing…
At howtocbc, we’re offering a free 1 hour workshop to a select audience to help you get started with Cohort Based Courses. Attend this workshop if you are -
🧐 Curious about Cohort Based Courses, 
🟢 Want to get started with building your first Cohort Based Course.
Register here.
If you picked up a new insight in this newsletter, don’t forget to share it with your network.
See you in a fortnight! 
 
Team howtocbc
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