Active learning strategies

Identify 3 active learning strategies you can use with later years students in your subject area. An internet search will give many subject specific examples.

While many teachers recognise that learning requires students to be actively involved in learning for it to be meaningful, awareness can be strengthened if they understand the concept of active learning from “the cognitive perspective of educational psychology”.

Learning involves not only the building and rebuilding of meaningful structures as an individual interacts with the environment, but also the representation and storage of these structure in an individual’s mind such that, when needed, information can be easily retrieved.

Activating prior knowledge will be an important strategy to enhance active media learning.

Students themselves live in a world of viral marketing and blended texts. Entrenched within the system, students will have both conscious and sub-conscious prior knowledge to call upon.

KWL charts, Think, Pair and Share and in particular Previewing Text activities will be invaluable to me. Presented a text (print, digital, etc)  I could ask them “Prior to reading or viewing the text, what did you learn from the graphics, fonts, illustrations, vocabulary? Go back and read the text with pencil in hand and annotate as you go.”

I also like the idea of Predictions. Looking at sensational headlines without the story attached, students could guess what the stories were about, who they were targeting, and then checking to see if they were right.

Chunking could be used alongside this. Adding to prior knowledge is an important task for long term memory and meaningful learning.

So the instructional designer, or teacher, has to find ways to present information that will have meaning to as many people as possible. I like this description, from

“Another option is to just suggest methods of chunking alongside particular information, and rely on the learner to supply their own meaning. For example, if students have to learn the parts of the heart you could suggest that if they are better at remembering “where” something is than “what” something is, they should arrange the labels on a diagram in an order that enables them to recall them more easily (for example, using a mnemonic), and then they can connect the labels to the parts. If they are better at memorizing labels than parts they may want to try to pair the label with a location description …”

Media instructors must make evident the connections between concepts we explore and activities we undertake in the classroom. For example, video production students may enter a course with a grasp of basic shooting and editing from having experimented with the manifold programs and apps available to them. But in class they are exposed to theories to aesthetics of photography cinematography, and they may reflect upon their own experiences with video in accordance with these theatrical concepts. They may internalise these theories to influence their decision making in future projects.






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