The Special FLTC Meeting on Thursday 12th October, open to all staff in the faculty, explored our big blue sky ideas for active learning in the curriculum:

Mentimeter tool: word cloud question type

We drew inspiration from PVC L&T’s Learning for the Future:

Key components of active learning outlined in MQ’s Learning For The Future

What we know: benefits

We discussed the positive impact on student learning:

and staff teaching practices:

  • high degree of freedom and creativity
  • opens up so many possibilities
  • doesn’t haven’t to be overly complicated
  • simple but effective strategies

Our experiments: testing the water

We revisited:

When it comes to active learning, there is no ‘one size fits all’, so we propose to take an approach of multiplicity, diversity and inclusivity.

Some #inspo:

In full #bigbluesky mode, we showcased:

1. Peer Instruction

We took inspiration from the peer instruction method pioneered by Eric Mazur at Harvard university – see also video (5:02):

Peer Instruction reference guide (via University of Queensland)

2. Student Peer Assessment

We recalled our Feedback Feedforward workshop where we explored Harland et al. (2016)‘s model of a student peer review and marking process – including a rebuttal(!) phase:

Example student peer review process featuring a rebuttal phase!

The study reported that the process led to:

  • better understanding of the assessment criteria
  • re-examination of their own work
  • motivation to access new primary literature before commenting
  • improved quality of thought in both reviewer and reviewee
  • new perspectives on domain literature.

We invited Nick Wilson, Department of Linguistics, to share his recent LING219 experience with a learner (group) generated digital media task (i.e. video assessment) paired with peer review using the Peergrade tool. Stay tuned for more on this!

3. ‘Wicked’ Problems

And we rounded out our inspiration with ‘wicked’ problems (Markauskaite & Goodyear, 2017) – bringing real-world, authentic, ill-structured problems into the curriculum (vs. ‘tame’, defined, single-solution problems) through:

(i) Team-Based Learning

We showcased the InteDashboard tool, used by our colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – and affectionately referred to as Totally Brilliant Learning…man – and the team-based learning approach developed by the Duke Medical School:

which involves:

  • pre-class work
  • an individual quiz using points weighting
  • a team quiz (one answer only)
  • identify what you still don’t understand
  • clarification duties are assigned to other groups

We also recognised examples of current practice in our local community:

(ii) Students as teachers

Tracy Worthington, Department of Educational Studies, using walking galleries:

Walking Galleries with education students. Follow Tracy Worthington on Twitter to learn more: @aussietaw

(iii) Students as researchers

And Bianca De Witt and David Kaplan, Department of Cognitive Sciences, using a research-driven approach with the aide of the Emotiv EPOC+ system:

We concluded with some cross-department brainstorming about project ideas for the future.

And now, you’re all caught up on active learning.

Posted by Beverley Miles

Beverley is a Senior Learning Designer in the Academy of Continuing Professional Development in Education, Faculty of Arts. She is the founder of the Macquarie Undergraduate Research Internship (MURI), co-director of the Telemachus Ancient History Mentor Program (Tele's Angels), and member of the Archaeology of Death and Burial TV team led by A/Prof Ronika Power – bringing digital multimodal text types to assessment with Adobe Education.

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