Program Monday 8:30-9:15 Introductions Workshop Introduction (Acrobat (PDF) 454kB Jul17 16)

  • Icebreaker activities
  • Introduction
    • Speed Introductions - Who, Where, Best teaching moment?
    • Workshop goals
    • What is Active Learning?
  • Self-Inventory Activity
    • Why use active learning?
Our Results: Why Active Learning 1 (a 2448 by 3264 pixel WebP) and Why Active Learning 2 (a 2448 by 3264 pixel WebP)
    • Barriers to using active learning?
Our Results: Active Learning Barriers 1 (a 2448 by 3264 pixel WebP) and Active Learning Barriers 2 (a 2448 by 3264 pixel WebP)
Composite of all our "why's" and "barriers" (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 3.3MB Jul18 16)
9:15-10:00 Active Learning Exploration: Small Group Jigsaw Activity, Part 1 Small Group Jigsaw Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 391kB Jul17 16)

10:00-10:30 Active Learning Exploration: Small Group Jigsaw Activity, Part 2

  • Regroup into new mixed groups of four people each. Each person should have reviewed a different activity.
    • Introduce and summarize the activity you reviewed for your new group (~5 minutes). Categorize and rank the activities on the basis of parameters identified in the previous discussion. Individually, imagine that you are teaching a course that would incorporate content related to all four activities and rank them from strongest to weakest on whatever criteria that you believe are most significant. As a group, create an overall ranking of the four activities.

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:15 Consensogram Activity

  • Reorganize into your original groups. Each group has several small post-it notes and a pen. Write your group number on each small post-it note. Place a post-it note on each of the consensograms distributed around the room.
  • Group review and analysis of results.
  • Resulting Consensograms (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 6.6MB Jul18 16)
  • Discussion: What are the principal characteristics of an active learning activity?

11:15-11:30 Active Learning Reflections and Wrap-up

  • Our goal in this workshop is to provide you with the tools to transition one (or more) lessons into an active learning format. This may involve adapting existing materials or creating new resources.
  • Your assignment is to identify the topic you wish to address and to come up with a learning objective(s) for your learning activity.

11:25-11:30 Daily Roadcheck

11:30 Adjourn for the day


8:30-8:45 Brief Recap of Monday

Game plan for day 2: Explore Active Learning Strategies-Report-Discuss-Adapt (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 62kB Jul19 16)

8:45- 9:15 Review links with active learning strategies

  1. Review the active learning strategies assigned to your group using the links listed here (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 32kB Jul18 16)
  2. In teams: Review this activity and discuss the merits and challenges of using this type of activity in the classes each of you are revising. Be prepared to "sell" this type of activity to the rest of the group, with information such as:
  • brief description of how the activity works,
  • how much class time it might take,
  • how much student interaction is involved,
  • how easy it would be to use in class
  • the types/extent of materials that are required to use this type of activity
3. Individually: Think of the class you're intending to revise and decide how likely is it that you would use this active learning strategies in your class (e.g. never, many times per semester, weekly)
4. If you have time, go to the next activity on the list and repeat steps 1-3.

9:15- 9:45 Report out:

Presenters: In 1 minute, convince (or "sell") other people in the room to use the teaching strategy you've reviewed, including testimonials of your own experiences.

Non-presenters: Rank each activity as: High, Medium or Low in terms of the ease of:

  • Students' ability to participate successfully (e.g. simple tasks (= "high") or very complex (= "low"))
  • Instructor preparation required
  • Instructor assessment (easy to understand student learning = high or lots of effort to understand learning = low)

Graph your responses to see how activities rank for you

9:45-10:30 Discuss and Decide

In groups: Discuss the activities in the sales pitches and consider which activities will work for your courses

Individually: Based on conversations & presentations, select 3-5 activities you might be likely to use in your fall 2016 course

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-11:25 Work on Active Learning in our Classes, Learning Objectives -> Active Learning

11:25-11:30 Daily Roadcheck

Note: Day 3 will include logistics/management of active learning in large intro courses. Please respond in the "comments" section of the Road Check any questions that will help us with Day 3 – what have we not covered yet? What other things would be useful in day 3?

11:30 Adjourn for the day


8:30-8.45 Roadcheck results and Introduction to activities

8.45-9.30 Challenges to introducing active learning in large lecture courses. Two case studies, Rachel (Acrobat (PDF) 1.5MB Jul20 16) and David McConnell Ig Rx presentation (Acrobat (PDF) 586kB Jul20 16)

    • McConnell, Steer & Owens (2003), Assessment and Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Geology courses McConnell, Steer & Owens JGE paper (Acrobat (PDF) 390kB Jul20 16)
    • ConceptTest Video ( This site may be offline. )
    • A compilation of ConceptTests (Microsoft Word 1.7MB Jul23 16) Kelly Dilliard compiled on plate tectonics, rocks and minerals and geologic time
    • Monday's Plenary speaker, Scott Freeman's 2014 paper on evidence of student learning in active learning environments Freeman 2014 (Acrobat (PDF) 3.4MB Jul20 16) (in PNAS v. 111 #23 p 8410-8415)
    • A comment from Carl Wieman on Freeman's paper Wieman 2014 (Acrobat (PDF) 607kB Jul20 16) (in PNAS v. 111 #23 p 8319-8320)
  • Time
    • Too much information for one class period
    • Too much pre-work may be required
    • Too many materials required for large classes
      • Non-multiple choice exam options?
  • Physical space issues
    • Some active learning practices don't scale as easily as others - options for small class vs. large class
    • Managing logistics of active learning with large numbers of students
    • What works in online classes?
  • Student responses
    • Apathy toward active approach in class or necessary pre-class work
    • How to avoid active learning reducing grades or negatively influencing evaluations?
  • Lack of experience with active learning practice
    • Background knowledge needed to setup activity
  • Institutional support/buy-in

9.30-9.35 Think/pair/share - Identify unaddressed challenges

9.35-10.15 Report out, group discussion of alternative approaches

10.15-10.30 Break More Great Stuff at EER This Week! (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 44kB Jul20 16)

10.30-11.15 Work on active learning in our classes

11.15-11.20 Wrap up and thank you.

11:20-11:30 End of Workshop Evaluation

11:30 Adjourn