First Steps for Teachers and Facilities
Getting started with active learning & teaching can be as simple as assessing on what is already accomplished. Here are some practical courses of action to begin experimenting with active learning, whether you are a teacher or responsible for the spaces.
For Teachers: Reflecting on Your Existing Pedagogy
The first step in moving towards activate teaching & learning is a reflection on your own practice.
- Request an intervision from an instructional designer at ICLON (contact us for options)
- Ask a colleague for intervision. They can use a simple Observational Protocol ( e.g. in Van Amburgh JA, Devlin JW, Kirwin JL, Qualters DM. A tool for measuring active learning in the classroom. Am J Pharm Educ. 2007;71(5):85. doi:10.5688/aj710585), or simply give you an outsider's perspective.
- Use this tool to evaluate your own practice, from University of Michigan Centre for Research on Teaching & Learning (CRLT).
- Join the active learning network and find a peer match
"Start small, start early, and start with activities that pose low risk for instructors and students." Cynthia J. Brame, PhD
For Facilities: Evaluate Your Spaces
EDUCAUSE publishes a do-it-yourself guide to evaluating any given learning space in an quantifyable manner. Now in its second iteration, the Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) uses observable and measurable criteria to evaluate a space's suitability for active learning -- read more.
- Explanation and guide to the Learning Space Rating System
- Link to download Excel templates of Scoresheets (downloads ZIP)
Of course, the ultimate test of a learning space is the learning occuring in that space, and a rating of the space is not a learning of the rating or capacity for learning in that space. However, this rating can give an indication of the preparedness for a particular space for a variety of active learning approaches.