Introducing Active Learning Strategies to Large Intro Courses
Intro courses are one of the most important courses in any program as they serve as the beginning and end of many students introduction to a discipline, topic or way of thinking. This session encourages you to work with others to introduce active learning strategies into your intro course. With support, you will be able to capitalize on backward design (including student learning outcomes), InTeGrate intro modules and design rubric, Cutting Edge resources and rubrics, and materials from this week's afternoon sessions. Participants will leave with many of the components of a redesigned course, ready to incorporate into Fall classes.
The student experience in introductory STEM courses has been identified as a critical tipping point for student persistence. Compared to other STEM fields, the student experience in introductory geoscience courses is doubly important, not only for retaining existing majors, but also for attracting new students to the discipline. Research in various STEM disciplines over the last few decades has revealed a suite of empirically validated instructional practices that can contribute to improvements in student learning and a reduction in attrition. These teaching practices go by an array of names, including active learning. We will outline a series of consistent steps for redesigning lessons to incorporate different degrees of active learning suitable for your particular situational factors (e.g., class size, instructional experience, course content). We will also address strategies that facilitate independent student learning that occurs outside of the classroom.
The target audience for this workshop is any instructor seeking to design or redesign lessons for an introductory science course of any size. We have designed this workshop experience to accommodate instructors with no previous experience with active learning and for instructors seeking to incorporate new strategies to a partially redesigned class. We will model the incorporation of reformed strategies in the workshop and anticipate that participants teaching similar courses will work collaboratively to develop shareable resources. We encourage all participants to bring course materials to redesign as part of the workshop.
As a result of participation in the workshop, participants will be able to:
- Create student learning objectives representing lower and higher order learning tasks
- Create formative assessment activities to effectively measure student learning
- Generate appropriate teaching strategies or activities to match learning objectives and assessments
- Analyze existing exemplary resources as models for lesson development
- Redesign sample lessons to increase course structure necessary to promote student learning
- Apply a consistent lesson design rubric to guide resource development.
Each day will include an introduction to the topic(s) for the day, collaborative activities designed to make participants familiar with key concepts, sharing ideas about how to approach specific tasks, participants working on materials for their own classes, and a final opportunity for reflection about the morning's tasks.
See the Program Page for a detailed schedule of daily events.