Using Active Learning Techniques in Large Classes

In this module, faculty learn how to effectively plan and facilitate active learning in a large class. The module teaches faculty to use an active learning cycle to pique student interest, build foundational knowledge, and then require students to apply new concept(s). In addition, the module includes techniques for using formative assessment and leveraging technology to inform and improve learning.

To satisfy the module requirements, practicing faculty must apply at least one technique, such as using cues to keep students on task, designing lessons according to an active learning cycle, or closing with an activity to hold students accountable.

This module is one of six modules under ACUE’s unit on Using Active Learning Techniques.

Advising Subject Matter Experts

John Pollard
Associate Professor of Practice, Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Arizona

Prather_Edward

Edward Prather
Associate Professor, Astronomy
University of Arizona and Steward Observatory

Module References

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Brookfield, S. D., & Preskill, S. (2005). Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cleveland, L. G. (2002). That’s not a large class; It’s a small town: How do I manage? In C. A. Stanley & M. E. Porter (Eds.), Engaging large classes: Strategies and techniques for college faculty (pp. 16–27). Bolton, MA: Anker.

Columbia University. (n.d.). Active learning. Retrieved from http://www.columbia.edu/

Davis, B. G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Deslauriers, L., Schelew, E., & Wieman, C. (2011). Improved learning in a large-enrollment physics class. Science, 332, 862–864.

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Felder, R. M. (1997). Beating the numbers game: Effective teaching in large classes. Proceedings of the 1997 ASEE Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI. Retrieved from: http://www4.ncsu.edu/

Hake, R. R. (1998). Interactive-engagement vs. traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66, 64.

Huba, M. E., & Freed, J. E. (2000). Learner-centered assessment on college campuses: Shifting the focus from teaching to learning. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Knight, J. K., & Wood, W. B. (2005). Teaching more by lecturing less. Cell Biology Education, 4, 298–310.

Lambert, C. (2012, March–April). Twilight of the lecture: The trend toward “active learning” may overthrow the style of teaching that has ruled universities for 600 years. Harvard Magazine. Retrieved from http://harvardmagazine.com/

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Pollard, J. (2014, June 9). Teaching students how to think. University of Arizona News. Retrieved from http://uanews.org/

PolyUFB. (2013, February 20). Dr. Allison Lloyd – Active learning in large class [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/

Preszler, R. W., Dawe, A., Shuster, C. B., & Shuster, M. (2007). Assessment of the effects of student response systems on student learning and attitudes over a broad range of biology courses. CBE Life Sciences Education, 6, 29–41.

Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93, 223–231.

Ruhl, K. L., Hughes, C. A., & Schloss, P. J. (1987). Using the pause procedure to enhance lecture recall. Teacher Education and Special Education, 10, 14–18.

Silberman, M. (1996). Active learning: 101 strategies to teach any subject. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Sutherland, T. E., & Bonwell, C. C. (Eds.). (1996). Using active learning in college classes: A range of options for faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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Topping, K. J., & Ehly, S. W. (1998). Peer-assisted learning. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Associates.

Twigg, C. A. (2003). Improving learning and reducing costs: New models for online learning. EDUCAUSE Review, 38(5), 28–38.

Twigg, C. A. (2015, November–December). Improving learning and reducing costs: Fifteen years of course description. Change. Retrieved from http://www.changemag.org/

University of Arizona, Office of Instruction and Assessment. (n.d.). The learning cycle [Video file]. Retrieved from http://streaming.oia.arizona.edu/

University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning & Teaching [CRLTeach]. (2014, February 26). Eric Mazur, Harvard University. Peer instruction [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/

VanGundy, A. B. (2005). 101 activities for teaching creativity and problem solving. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Wieman, C. (2010). Basic instructor habits to keep students engaged. Retrieved from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia website: http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/

Wieman, C. (2016). Observation guide for active-learning classroom. Retrieved from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia website: http://www.cwsei.ubc.ca/