8:30: Introduction to the Workshop

  • Introductions of leaders & participants
    • Why do you want to learn more about active learning? (Think-Pair-Share)
    • Icebreaker poster/consensogram activity (Gallery Walk)
      • Mentioned Freeman et al. 2014 (Acrobat (PDF) 784kB Jul19 19) paper on increased student learning with active learning
  • Today's Learning Objectives:
    • Describe the principal characteristics of active learning
    • Discuss how active learning practices were incorporated into courses at two different institutions
    • Become familiar with where to find exemplary teaching and learning resources as models for course materials

9:15: Examples of Active Learning at CSU Chico, NC State University

10:10: Break

10:20: Design of Active Learning: Introduction to backward design (Acrobat (PDF) 418kB Jul19 19)

  • Participant design time: define relevant learning objectives and potential assessments, consider potential active learning strategies

11:15: Wrap up (Minute paper, Muddiest point)

11:20: Road Check

11:30: Adjourn for the day


8:30: Review road check feedback and today's objectives

  • Create student learning objectives, related teaching activities and aligned assessments that use one or more of active learning strategies
  • Create an action plan for redesigning course materials to involve more active learning

8:50: Finding the most effective active learning strategies for you

9:10: Adapting Active Learning activity to lesson

  • Participant redesign: focus on relevant aspects of lesson
9:50: Break

10:00: Lesson redesign work

  • Group backward design peer coaching activity
    • Good example of learning objective and assessment
    • Learning objective and assessment that need support, suggestions

10:40: Finalizing lesson plan:

  • Timeline, sequencing the lesson (pre-class work, introductory material, activity, assessment)
  • Reorganizing content delivery - options

11:00: Report out: Remaining challenges, problems, examples, questions

11:15: Workshop evaluation + paperwork

11:30: Adjourn

Active Learning Resources

Case Studies - The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science provides visitors with access to an overview of cases and download case materials but a paid subscription is required to review teaching notes, an answer key and comments about the cases. The PBL Clearinghouse at the University of Delaware provides both handouts for the problem itself and extensive instructor guides including learning objectives, links and citations for necessary resources and teaching notes.

Concept Maps - The FLAG (Field-tested learning assessment guide) site has a series of pages developed by Michael Zeilik that explain the use of concept maps as a classroom assessment technique. The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) has created free concept map tools that can be downloaded for personal computers or ipads. Their site contains numerous short documents, videos and other resources designed to introduce viewers to learning with concept maps.

Concept Sketches - Teaching the Earth hosts a series of webinars on Effective Strategies for Undergraduate Geoscience Teaching that featured one on Teaching and assessing in-depth understanding of fundamental concepts using concept sketches. The 77 minute screencast of the event lead by Stephen Reynolds and Julia Johnson is available here.

Gallery Walks - Examples of a variety of geoscience-themed gallery walks are available on the Starting Point – Teaching Entry Level Geoscience site.

Jigsaw - Barbara Tewksbury created a great site that describes how and why to use jigsaws on the SERC Pedagogy in Action site.

Lecture Tutorials - A description of lecture tutorials by Karen Kortz and Jessica Smay is provided on the SERC Pedagogy in Action portal. Examples of five geological lecture tutorials can be found here.

Minute Paper - A description of the minute paper process by Meg Steepey, Earlham College, is provided on the Teach the Earth portal. The FLAG (Field-tested learning assessment guide) site has a series of pages developed by Michael Zeilik that explain the use of the minute paper as a classroom assessment technique.

Peer Instruction (Conceptests) - Using learning assistants to support peer instruction with classroom response systems ("clickers") is available here on the SERC Pedagogy in Action site. A discussion of conceptests and how to use them is available in the teaching methods section of the Teach the Earth site including access to more than 300 conceptests, most originally developed to support an earth science class. Merlot's ELIXR project also includes short videos and classroom footage of the use of conceptests in a large earth science class at the University of Akron.

Role Playing - How to design an effective role playing exercise is discussed on the SERC Pedagogy in Action site. More than forty examples of role playing scenarios, some embedded in larger lessons, are available on the SERC Pedagogy in Action site.

Teaching with Models - Interactive lecture demonstrations information is available from the SERC Pedagogy in Action site. Teaching with Models from the SERC Pedagogy in Action site at focuses on conceptual and mathematical models and also provides examples of teaching with visualizations and demonstrations.

Think-Pair-Share - Description of Think-Pair-Share, including videos with examples of the strategy, available from the SERC Pedagogy in Action site. Examples of think-pair-share activities can be found at the Starting Point site for Teaching entry-level geoscience.