Talk less, teach more: Tactics for converting from lecture courses to active courses

Jeff Offutt

Session Information

Year: 2016 | Time: 1:50pm-2:30pm | Location: Innovation Hall (Room 134)

Abstract

Evolving from a lecturer, a "sage on the stage," to an active learning
guide, is hard. Especially if you've lectured for more than 25 years.
Especially if you like to talk. Especially if you give "engaging and
exciting" lectures. I have recently used perseverance, resilience, and
more than a small dose of stubbornness to push myself to "talk less, teach
more." I've made progress but I'm still working on it. In the first
part of this talk, I will explain why I realized this change is necessary. I
will describe many reasons why this was hard for me and may be hard for you.
I will use general principles to explain how I am making this transition.

During the second part of this talk, I will share specific tactics from my
own classes that help "activate" problem solving courses,
skills-oriented courses, design courses, and analysis courses. For example,
instead of doing what I traditionally would have done (such as solving
problems for them, showing them case study examples, talking for an hour), I
employ tactics to engage students (such as students trying to solve problems
before I share solutions, students finding their own examples). One or more
of these tactics could help with almost any type of course. The session will
conclude with a brainstorming session where we will discuss how active
exercises could be incorporated into your classes with minimal effort.
Participants will develop the ability to create interesting active exercises
for their own courses.

Keywords

active learning; collaborative learning; experiential learning; team-based learning; student engagement; critical thinking; creativity;

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