Why Interactive Teaching?

Document created by jive-admin on Mar 23, 2015Last modified by Elizabeth Uva on Apr 2, 2015
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Do you want students who

  • attend class more regularly?
  • are more engaged with class material?
  • learn concepts more deeply?
  • retain what they learn longer?

 


 

Then get interactive!

A growing body of research shows that more interactive instructional approaches can improve student learning, attendance and engagement, relative to traditional lectures (e.g., Deslauriers, et al, 2011, Hake, 1998). These methods include simple, quick interventions like asking students to discuss a question briefly with a neighbor (think-pair-share) or using a popular song to get students thinking about how a topic applies outside the classroom, to more complex activities like small-group debates or having students engage in a double-oral auction market.

 

For example:

  • Cooperative learning, used effectively, can lead to a variety of improved student outcomes, including “higher achievement, higher-level reasoning, more frequent generation of new ideas and solutions, and greater transfer of what is learned from one situation to another” (Barkley, et al, 2005: p.17-18). These effects may be particularly important for female students and students of color.
  • Students who participate in classroom experiments have higher test and homework scores and exhibit greater satisfaction with their classes.
  • Context-rich problems help students connect economics to the ‘real world’ and to transfer their learning to new situations.
  • Interactive lecture demonstrations can uncover, and challenge, students’ prior assumptions and lead to deeper understanding.
  • In addition to appealing to inherent student interest, the use of popular media (such as songs, TV shows and movies) builds on research showing that the visual presentation of material can help students learn and recall new concepts.

 


 

“Flipping” the classroom

For instructors who wish to adopt more active techniques in the classroom, one challenge can be finding the time – active approaches typically take more time than lectures to ‘cover’ the same material. One way to free up class time is to move some material outside of class. This approach is often called ‘flipping’ the classroom, because instead of lecturing on basic material in class and having students work through problems and applications as homework after class, this process is ‘flipped’ so students acquire basic material as homework before class and then work on applying and synthesizing that material in class. For more information about flipping, the following resources are a good place to start:

popular song to get students thinking about how a topic applies outside the classroom, to more complex activities like small-group debates or having students engage in a double-oral auction market.

 

 


 

What do I DO?

Another challenge for those new to interactive learning is figuring out what to do instead of lecture. Fortunately, you’re in the right place! Providing ideas for in-class activities is the purpose of this site – just click on Resources by Topic to get started.

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