Enhancing Active Learning in Challenging World: Simple Strategies

Kumari, Sarla and Ariyarathna, Thilanga and AL-Rawi, Mohammad and Ross, Joseph (2020) Enhancing Active Learning in Challenging World: Simple Strategies. ​Australasian Association For Engineering Education AAEE 2020, Sydney, Australia , 6-9 December 2020. (In Press)

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Abstract or Summary

To mould people into good citizens, education is very important. It plays an essential role in the wealth of a nation. Teachers have a vital role in ensuring a high-quality society. In a teacher’s role, one of the biggest challenges is to prepare an effective lesson plan so that learners are actively involved in the class. Active learning includes engaging learners with course material through discussions, role-play, project-based studies, problem solving, etc. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, we were obliged to switch from physical classrooms to online learning environments. However, maintaining active learning strategies in an online environment was challenging. In this article, we share our experience of adapting active learning strategies to suit virtual classrooms. Reviews showed that even though there is no substantial difference in assessment performance, students prefer to complete activities face-to-face rather than online (Kemp & Grieve, 2014). Their study also indicated that students’ written feedback showed a strong preference for class face-to-face discussions, as they felt actively engaged, and received instantaneous feedback, compared to online discussions. In-class learning is a better way of facilitating two-way interaction than online learning as sometimes content is delivered using pre-recorded videos instead of in the presence of a tutor. This mean that in online learning, there is often only one-way interaction. This study is an attempt to discuss various active learning strategies that can be used to improve student performance. Although, the innovation in technology-enhanced the virtual classrooms in many respects but still the transition from face-to-face to online classroom was still challenging. However, online delivery is the only available learning mode in some exceptional situations like the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. In any classroom, there is a diverse group of students as they are invariably from different age groups, different cultures and every student has a different background, which means every student has a unique perspective. According to our observation with online class delivery experiences, mature learners (age group above 18 years) are able to adapt to new environments quickly, and they can easily cope with such challenges. During online classes, we have noticed that their higher focus on studies helped them to succeed in distance papers even with reduced tutor interaction and they have excellent time management skills. There are various active learning strategies we can use to make our teaching and learning process more effective. We create opportunities for our learners to become engaged, empowered and inspired by following student-centred learning processes. Active learning will encourage learners to interact more deeply with course content. It is a two-way process, with students sharing their knowledge and thoughts instead of just listening to the tutor. There are various approaches and strategies to get learners engaged during online sessions.

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:Teaching, Learning
Subjects:T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design
ID Code:7585
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Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 00:26
Last Modified:25 Nov 2020 00:26

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