Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TLA 2007 Conference Notes, Day 1: Session on Active Learning

Session: Adrian "AJ" Johnson, "Walk the Talk: Active Learning for Student Success."

(Note: Find the presentation PowerPoint and and the handouts from the presentation here.)

(This was a very interesting presentation with a very engaging speaker. However, at times I got the impression this was preaching to the choir; in other words, the people I think should be listening to this were not here.)

Some observations and thoughts:

  • The presenter asked the audience to define active learning before giving a definition.
  • He also gave us time to write a bit on the writing prompt about active learning.
  • Informal polls can be a nice and quick form of assessment.
  • Remember that learning is messy and natural (or, as I say, "embrace the chaos.")
  • Additional examples of challenges when it comes to implementing active learning, given by the audience during a brainstorm:
    • discipline
    • professor expectations (or lack thereof).
    • disaster, such as Internet goes down.
    • active learning takes extra planning time.
  • The presenter remarked that he is lucky to be in a library that actually puts requirements on professors to be prepared when it comes to library instruction. (That is something I have mentioned at least once or twice here, but under the "we have to keep the faculty happy" syndrome, it is something not likely to happen)
  • Remember to create your active learning activities based on outcomes. What will the students get out of it?
  • Remember to practice as well. Try things out yourself (do dry runs), then try with a class. Adjust as needed.

No comments: