The University of Wisconsin's (UWISC) first cohort of students to complete a significant number of their undergraduate courses primarily through the flipped classroom model is preparing to graduate in the spring.
The college has been encouraging its instructors to switch to a flipped classroom model, where students watch recorded video lectures before class and then use class time to put their learning into practice through in-class activities and to interact with their instructors and their classmates. According to a news release from the UWISC College of Engineering, the flipped learning approach can help students develop "communication and collaboration skills that often prove just as important as the technical foundations of engineering."
When workshopping project-based learning ideas, start by thinking about where you want to go and what you want to accomplish with your students. Although technology may play a huge role in how projects are put together, you want to keep it tangible. The Solution Fluency Activity Planner was built for project-based learning. It’s a guided system that makes PBL planning both easy and super-fun.
In the field of education, meanwhile, some people are trying to replace a system geared to memorizing facts and taking tests with one dedicated to exploring ideas. They’re committed to implementing a democratic, collaborative approach to schooling that learners will find more engaging than what they’re offered now. But those enamored of grit look at the same status quo and ask: How can we get kids to put up with it?
Duckworth acknowledges that it’s desirable for students to develop a long-term interest in what they’re doing, but the main thrust of her work is that “hard things” are worth doing just because they’re hard. Her goal is to figure out how to make students pay “attention to a teacher rather than daydreaming” and “behav[e] properly in class.” And in her more recent research, she even created a task that’s deliberately boring, the point being to find strategies for resisting the temptation to do something more appealing instead.
Whether that uninteresting stuff is worth doing apparently doesn’t matter. As long as kids keep at it.
In an earlier post here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning I talked about the 8 elements of the critical thinking process and I argued that critical thinking is a cognitive process that requires disruptive patterns of thinking, ones that question the status quo of propositions and leads to the creation of alternative lines of reasoning.
Today I am adding to this discussion this beautiful visual created by Learningcommons which features the 6 questions a critical thinker asks. This could be used as a poster in your classroom to remind students of the kind of questions they need to ponder about and develop. Have a look and share with your colleagues.
For in-person professional development from TeachThought on effective instructional strategies or any other topic your school or district might need, contact us today.
Student-centered teaching is teaching designed for the student. This means that planning often begins with the student in mind as opposed to a school policy or curriculum artifact, for example. Done well, it can disarm some of the more intimidating parts of academia, while also shortening the distance between the student and understanding.
Neuroscience proves what effective educators have known all along.
In some instances, research illuminates a topic and changes our existing beliefs. For example, here’s a post that challenges the myth of preferred learning styles. Other times, you might hear about a study and say, “Well, of course that’s true!” This might be one of those moments.
Last year, Dr. Karlsson Wirebring and fellow researchers published a study that supports what many educators and parents have already suspected: students learn better when they figure things out on their own, as compared to being told what to do.
(Mr Rohan McDougall, Curtin University (left), Dr Alastair Hick, KCA (right))
Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre – Curtin University The Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre, co-founded by Cisco, Curtin University and Woodside Energy Ltd, is a new industry and research collaboration centre designed to foster co-innovation. With a foundation in radioastronomy, supercomputing and software expertise, it is growing a state-of-the-art connected community focused on leveraging data analytics, cybersecurity and digital transformation network platforms to solve industry problems. The Centre combines start-ups, small–medium enterprises, industry experts, developers and researchers in a collaborative open environment to encourage experimentation, innovation and development through brainstorming, workshops, proof-of-concept and rapid prototyping. By accelerating innovation in next-generation technologies, it aims to help Australian businesses thrive in this age of digital disruption.
In the paper, Preparing Students for a Project-Based World, released jointly by Getting Smart and Buck Institute for Education (BIE), we explore equity, economic realities, student engagement and instructional and school design in the preparation of all students for college, career and citizenship.
Featuring blogs, podcasts and videos with students, teachers and leaders in the United States and internationally, as well as insights from people in the business community, this publication makes the case for high-quality project-based learning (PBL) as a way to optimally prepare students for the project-based world they are inheriting by exploring:
The New Economy: Project-based learning prepares students for a competitive, project-based and global economy. - Equity: Preparing students for a project-based economy a social justice issue. - Myths and Misconceptions: Myths about the implementation of high-quality project-based learning. - Recommendations: A project-based economy has implications for students, teachers and leaders. We shine a light on best practices and models to prepare students for college, career and citizenship and illuminate the path forward.
We have also released a quick start guide for students that gives tools and best practices for project-based learning at school and outside of it.
A belief among a number of adults appear to be about play being frivolous, something extra, an add-on or something that’s nice to do when we have the time. Furthermore, play is viewed as just a childish inclination which shouldn’t be around anymore. They believe play is different from and shouldn’t mix with more serious matters like work and learning. However such perspective, which defines play as an activity, is really a misconception.
Play is natural especially to human beings who are the biggest players of all, according to psychiatrist Stuart Brown, M.D. It’s a biological process that evolved to help animals - including humans - survive. Brown, who has studied more than 6,000 “play histories” (case studies), concludes that “play is part of our evolutionary history.” He defines play as a state of mind rather than an activity and believes we have a “drive to play and we are built to play.”
A few months ago, I heard a podcast by Michael Hyatt, a best-selling author and speaker who helps clients excel in their personal and professional lives. This particular podcast focused on how to “create margins” in life to reduce stress and avoid burnout. Quoting Dr. Richard Swenson’s work, Hyatt defines a margin as “the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. . . . Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion. . . . Margin is the opposite of overload.”
As I listened to this podcast, I realized that the idea of creating margins also applies to the flipped classroom. I often hear comments like “The flipped classroom takes too much time,” “I don’t have time to devise so many new teaching strategies,” “It takes too much time to record and edit videos,” “I don’t have time to cover everything on the syllabus,” or “I don’t have time to redesign all of my courses.” I also hear “I tried to flip my class, but it was exhausting; so I quit.”
We tend to think of project-based learning as focused on research, planning problem-solving, authenticity, and inquiry. Further, collaboration, resourcefulness, and networking matter too–dozens of characteristics “fit” into project-based learning. Its popularity comes from, among other characteristics, its general flexibility as a curriculum framework. You can do, teach, assess, and connect almost anything within the context of a well-designed project.
But what if we had to settle on a handful (or two) of itemized characteristics for modern, connected, possibly place-based, and often digital project-based learning? Well, then the following might be useful.
For those interested in building metacognitive moments into the day, here are the articles Holman found to be useful and more or less reading-level appropriate for his high school students.
“From Degrading to De-Grading,” by Alfie Kohn “Sermons For Grumpy Campers,” Richard Felder “When Is a Good Day of Teaching a Bad Thing?,” by Timothy Slater “Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction,” by Richard Felder “Minimizing resistance to inquiry-oriented science instruction: The importance of climate setting,” by Carl J. Wenning “Well, Duh!” — Ten Obvious Truths That We Shouldn’t Be Ignoring,” by Alfie Kohn “Opinion: Why TEAL Works: 10 Years Ago MIT Had a Physics Problem. TEAL Fixed It,” by Ryan Normandin
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Much of this discussion can be translated beyond K-12 - Higher Ed suffers similar afflictions...
Many people think that independence is the main goal of education. “Teach students so that they don’t need the teacher.” But what if that wasn’t the case? What if there were something higher than independence? Stephen Covey reminds us: Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality.
These are the stages that we want to lead our students through: dependence to independence to interdependence. If we can get them from dependence to independence, we’re almost there. Interdependence comes with applying their hard-earned skills toward relationship building.
How are we going to help our students develop independent thinking skills so that they may eventually use them in practicing interdependence?
Discover the power of change with this free case study Teachers love stretching their students’ imaginations. Anna Russell, a Visual Arts teacher at Canberra’s Melrose High School, knows this well. Her idea to incorporate the 6Ds of Solution Fluency into her teaching was the perfect fit. So she turned to the Solution Fluency Activity Planner for her primary lesson planning tool.
Using Solution Fluency as a roadmap, Anna’s students embarked on a journey of discovering the true power of symbols in society. It was the groundwork for what would be some very rich and deeply insightful student design projects.
You can learn more about Anna and her amazing students in this case study. It's yours for free!
A recent study conducted by the Research and Analytics team at Colorado State University Online found that flipping the classroom may improve student participation and attendance rates. Flipping the classroom may also create a more challenging experience for learners and foster more critical thinking.
According to Sean Burns, assessment coordinator at CSU Online, flipped classrooms made students hold each other more accountable for showing up to class prepared. When implemented the wrong way, however, flipped classrooms created a very frustrating learning environment for students. “[The students] want goals and learning objectives defined for each class, and if this is missing, they feel lost and don’t get the maximum value from the class,” he said.
Whilst unpacking the idea of Conscious Competence and Skillset, Toolset, Mindset with teachers, we came to realise many of them were having difficulty applying these concepts to their own learning, beyond a superficial level (assumption one – not all teachers are reflective learners). We found this quite provocative and decided to create a visual on our Leadership Provocation Wall. Initially we attempted to combine Conscious Competence, SOLO and the Competency Set into one rubric, but ended up dropping SOLO as we struggled to align it with the other two. We expanded on our initial thinking and included Reflective Competence and Knowledge Set to our rubric. Our first attempt was critiqued over many months by various critical friends and we eventually came up with a workable prototype to use with teachers. Our first rubric focused on Professional Learning Inquiry for teachers. This worked so well we decided to create one for student learning and trialled it with our Stage 3 students (10-11 year olds). They picked it up quicker than the teachers (assumption two – don’t underestimate young learners!).
In A Shift to Active Learning Environments, colleges and universities are recognizing the benefits that shifting to an active learning environment can have on student outcomes—such as better grades, better retention of course material, and even better performance later on in the workplace.
Learn how institutions are transforming their learning environments to improve teaching: Technology Mobility Creativity Interactivity
Read this paper provided by Dell and Intel® to learn how your institution can successfully move to an active learning environment by completing the form to download the report today.
Have you ever wondered if your students are as concerned about their learning as you are? If you prioritize student learning, you may be the only person in your classroom with that goal. Learning-centered teachers seek to coauthor classroom experiences with their students, whereas students may seek only to be taught passively. How might you inspire your students to share accountability for their learning? These five considerations can help you teach your students to be learning centered, too.
One half of the entertainment duo Penn & Teller explains how performance and discomfort make education come alive.
Education, at its most engaging, is performance art. From the moment a teacher steps into the classroom, students look to him or her to set the tone and course of study for everyone, from the most enthusiastic to the most apathetic students. Even teachers who have moved away from the traditional lecture format, toward more learner autonomy-supportive approaches such as project-based and peer-to-peer learning, still need to engage students in the process, and serve as a vital conduit between learner and subject matter.
Teachers are seldom trained in the performance aspect of teaching, however, and given that every American classroom contains at least one bored, reluctant, or frustrated student, engagement through performance may just be the most important skill in a teacher’s bag of tricks.
As we continue our ongoing series focused on the flipped classroom in higher education, it’s time to tackle another frequently asked question: “How can I flip a large class?”
I like this question because it’s not asking whether you can flip a large class, but rather what’s the best way to do it. Faculty who teach large classes are challenged not only by the sheer number of students but also by the physical space in the classroom. Having 100, 200, or 400+ students in class means teaching in large lecture halls with stadium seating and seats that are bolted to the floor. It’s not exactly the ideal space for collaboration and group discussions, so the types of flipped and active learning strategies you can use are more limited.
Often, faculty fall back on the “think, pair, share” format or use clicker questions to encourage student engagement. But there are other techniques we can deploy in these large classrooms to engage students and involve them in higher levels of critical thinking and analysis.
To start the conversation, here are three strategies that work well in large lecture halls because they don’t require students to sit in groups or move around the room. Each of these strategies provides a framework for generating discussion, which increases engagement and encourages students to analyze a variety of perspectives. And if you aren’t teaching to the masses, these strategies can be easily modified for any class size.
Stanford University's Graduate School of Education has launched a new online course, Effective Conversation in the Classroom, designed to help educators learn to create rich and meaningful conversations in their classrooms.
Learner agency is “the capability of individual human beings to make choices and act on these choices in a way that makes a difference in their lives” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_and_agency). As related to the needs as identified by Glasser, elements of freedom, choosing how we want to live our lives, and power, choosing what and how to learn, address learner agency.
The notion of agency as contributing to cognitive processes involved in learning comes primarily from the Piagetian notion of constructivism where knowledge is seen as “constructed” through a process of taking actions in one’s environment and making adjustments to existing knowledge structures based on the outcome of those actions. The implication is that the most transformative learning experiences will be those that are directed by the learner’s own endeavors and curiosities. (Lindgren & McDaniel, 2012)
Schwartz and Okita developed the following table to compare and contrast high versus low agency learning environments.
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