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Active learning in the classroom (part 2)

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Uploaded on Jan 12, 2011

Here is an example of how students in BTC's Instrumentation and Control Technology program use classroom time to learn instrumentation and diagnostic theory in an "active" format as opposed to "passive" lecture. Students work to complete homework assignments prior to class time (reading assignments, problem-solving), then during class time share what they've learned with each other, and also overcome difficulties they experienced doing the homework on their own. This is usually referred to in education-speak as an "inverted classroom."

The result is a classroom full of students working undistractedly on the subject matter, engaging much more deeply in the higher-level cognitive realms of Bloom's Taxonomy (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation), comparing problem-solving techniques, and learning to better think for themselves.

Accountability for student preparation (homework) comes in the form of a "Prep Quiz" at the beginning of each classroom session. Accountability for learning during class time comes in the form of Socratic dialogue between each student and the instructor, the instructor ensuring each student grasps the essential points of each day's lesson.

When students finish with their work, they are free to go. Faster students finish early and may leave or stay to assist classmates who need more help. Slower students get more one-on-one attention from the instructor. The degree of insight the instructor gets to each student's aptitude, learning preferences, and study habits is profound, allowing the instructor to quickly identify (and help the student overcome) learning barriers.

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