Active Learning Spaces: Lessons Learned in the United States — from educause by Stan Aalderink

“Active learning spaces are more than classrooms outfitted with technical gadgets; they offer extensive pedagogical opportunities to meet the needs of contemporary students through active learning and to help students develop relevant skills.”

Excerpts:

Lesson 1: Put Students at the Center
Lesson 2: Use Active Learning Spaces to Facilitate Impactful Pedagogy
Lesson 3: Incorporate Technology to Continually Enhance Active Learning Spaces
Lesson 4: Supervise and Train Educators for Optimal Use of Each Space
Lesson 5: Secure Institution-wide Support
Lesson 6: Cross-Institutional Cooperation Pays Off

 

 
 

A lesson in active learning — from characterlab.org
How to make difficulty desirable

Excerpt:

Recently, a group of physics professors at Harvard University ran an experiment you should know about.

There were no balls rolling down planks. No springs or pulleys, no magnets, and no electricity.

What these professors wanted to know was, how can we get students to learn more? More generally, how do people learn anything—and what gets in the way?

Years of experience suggested that students learn best when assigned hands-on laboratory activities, weekly problem sets, in-class opportunities to discuss material with fellow students, and frequent short quizzes. This active approach seemed far superior to the more traditional—and more passive—approach of sage-on-a-stage lectures.

To test their hunch, the professors randomly assigned students in introductory physics to classes using either active or passive instruction. The material was identical—only the style of teaching differed.

 

The above article reference this item:

 

Also see:

  • Normalizing struggle — by Catherine Martin Christopher
    Abstract:
    Learning lawyering skills, and becoming competent or proficient in them, is a struggle. This article is a call to action for all legal educators: We need to acknowledge that students struggle, to expect it, and to convey to students that their struggle is normal. In fact, struggle is productive — learning is hard, and lawyers learn and struggle throughout their careers. This article examines and criticizes the ways legal academia treats law students’ academic struggle as a problem, and suggests that legal educators reorient their attitudes toward struggle, forgiving and embracing student struggle, even building opportunities for struggle into the curriculum. By normalizing the fact of struggle, law schools will not only improve the wellness of their students, but also create lawyers who are better prepared to cope with the constant problem-solving required of successful lawyers.Keywords: Academic success, academic support, legal education, student support, academic struggle, successful lawyers, law school

 

Addendum on 11/12/19:

Neuroscientists have found that mistakes are helpful for brain growth and connectivity and if we are not struggling, we are not learning. Not only is struggle good for our brains but people who know about the value of struggle improve their learning potential. This knowledge would not be earth shattering if it was not for the fact that we in the Western world are trained to jump in and prevent learners from experiencing struggle.

 

Everyday Media Literacy — from routledge.com by Sue Ellen Christian
An Analog Guide for Your Digital Life, 1st Edition

Description:

In this graphic guide to media literacy, award-winning educator Sue Ellen Christian offers students an accessible, informed and lively look at how they can consume and create media intentionally and critically.

The straight-talking textbook offers timely examples and relevant activities to equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to assess all media, including news and information. Through discussion prompts, writing exercises, key terms, online links and even origami, readers are provided with a framework from which to critically consume and create media in their everyday lives. Chapters examine news literacy, online activism, digital inequality, privacy, social media and identity, global media corporations and beyond, giving readers a nuanced understanding of the key concepts and concerns at the core of media literacy.

Concise, creative and curated, this book highlights the cultural, political and economic dynamics of media in our contemporary society, and how consumers can mindfully navigate their daily media use. Everyday Media Literacy is perfect for students (and educators) of media literacy, journalism, education and media effects looking to build their understanding in an engaging way.

 

The importance of presence offline & online in higher education — from forbes.com by Martin Krislov

Excerpt:

But how can we maintain [human interaction] in the era of online instruction?

That question, it turns out, is a pressing one for distance-education professionals. And the answer, they say, is what the digital world calls “presence.”

Presence means, essentially, being there. It’s something that happens naturally in physical classrooms. But in online education, instructors have to work to create it. Poorly constructed online courses can feel cold and impersonal; online faculty can feel distant. But in a well-designed course, where faculty work to be present, students can thrive. Studies have shown that creating strong presence and engagement in an online class—mimicking that personal connection Gabelli and I so value—improves academic outcomes and student experience.

 

 

Instructional Design Basics — from facultyfocus.com by Kristin Ziska Strange

Excerpt:

Instructional designers can help with many different course-based problems and challenges, including helping you figure out where and how to start with your course design. When a course is new or needs a little design love, knowing where to start can be difficult. By starting with your main goals and then moving to assessments and content, it is easier for your course to stay in alignment with your goals than working from topics and assessments to objectives. Starting is as easy as asking yourself one simple question.

Start with a Question
In any course design, whether it is a brand-new course or a redesign, the best place to start is to write down what you hope your students will carry with them several years down the road. What do you want your students to be able to do, and what content is crucial for them to remember? It doesn’t have to be the formalized language of objectives and goals that you put into your syllabus but just a straightforward list.

We do this for a few reasons.

 

Conscious onboarding: 10 ways to support new online instructors — from evolllution.com by Rebecca Cooney
In the scramble of expanding online programs, colleges often neglect to establish a formal onboarding process to address the unique challenges of online instruction—putting faculty confidence and retention at risk.

Excerpt:

#1: Establish an Online Community of Practice Devoted to Faculty Teaching Online Courses

When executed well, a culture of community establishes a set of shared values and expectations that influence how a group interacts, functions, and collaborates. By developing a specific online community of practice for your instructors teaching online courses, you provide them with a real-time information hub they can refer to for topics and materials that directly impact the work they are doing every day. An online community of practice includes announcements and discussions, a shared files system, FAQs and how-to’s, templates, databanks for approved-to-use lecture slides, recorded lectures, tutorials, standard syllabus language, approved digital assets and rubrics.

Learn more and download a report about exploratory research in the value of developing online communities of practice. (Office of Educational Technology, n.d.)

 

 

5 good tools to create whiteboard animations — from educatorstechnology.com

Excerpt:

In short, whiteboard animation (also called video scribing or animated doodling) is a video clip in which the recorder records the process of drawing on a whiteboard while using audio comment. The final result is a beautiful synchronization of the drawings and the audio feedback. In education, whiteboard animation videos  are used in language teaching/learning, in professional development sessions, to create educational tutorials and presentations and many more. In today’s post, we are sharing with you some good web tools you can use to create whiteboard animation videos.

 

 

 

Preparing faculty for high-quality online programs — from campustechnology.com by Anne Frankel, Laurie Friedman, Jamie Mansell, Jennifer Ibrahim
Temple University’s College of Public Health is a diverse school experiencing significant growth online. Here’s how the institution is supporting the development and maintenance of high-quality online faculty.

Excerpt:

We recognized that faculty may be at different levels of preparedness and self-efficacy to start teaching in an online space — and we realized the challenges of organizing faculty in a single location at a given time. Therefore, we chose to deliver the training in a fully asynchronous environment, allowing faculty the time and space needed to digest the materials and practice with the content to build their confidence. Faculty are enrolled in the training during the semester prior to their assigned online class, and are asked to complete the training at least four weeks before the start of their online course to provide sufficient time for feedback to the faculty with lead time for changes to the course before launching, if needed.

We wanted the training to take the faculty member through the design of an entire online course, from syllabus creation, to choices in delivery style, to assessment techniques and more. Each of the nine modules included both pedagogical and technological pieces, encompassing everything from creating alignment (Module 3), to setting up your Canvas site (Module 4), to designing and delivering synchronous sessions (Module 8).

Within each module, there is an organized infrastructure to ensure a consistent experience for the faculty. The structure starts with a clear set of learning objectives, designed both to model best practices and to ensure alignment with activities and assessments. Following the objectives, there are diverse resources, including videos, instructional guides with screenshots, web links, journal articles and examples from our online classes. After the content, each module contains “assignments” for the faculty to complete. These assignments allow the faculty to demonstrate that they can incorporate both technological and pedagogical best practices within their own online course.

 

My Favorite Book about Teaching and Learning is…33 Books to Inspire You! — from linkedin.com by Barbi Honeycutt

Excerpt:

…I recently posted this fill-in-the-blank question to all of my social media pages:

My favorite book about teaching and learning is ______________.

The response has been fantastic! Professors, instructors, teachers, educators, and faculty development professionals from a variety of disciplines from around the world responded with their favorite book about teaching and learning.

I’ve compiled the list and here are the 33 books recommended by colleagues throughout my network (many books were recommended more than once).

 

From DSC:
The two postings below show the need for more collaboration and the use of teams:


 

The future of law and computational technologies: Two sides of the same coin — from legaltechlever.com by Daniel Linna Jr.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

An increasing number of lawyers today work with allied professionals to improve processes, better manage projects, embrace data-driven methods, and leverage technology to improve legal services and systems. Legal-services and lawyer regulations are evolving. And basic technologies and AI are slowly making their way into the legal industry, from legal aid organizations and courts to large law firms, corporate legal departments, and governments.

If we are to realize the potential to improve society with computational technologies, law, regulation, and ethical principles must be front and center at every stage, from problem definition, design, data collection, and data cleaning to training, deployment, and monitoring and maintenance of products and systems. To achieve this, technologists and lawyers must collaborate and share a common vocabulary. Lawyers must learn about technology, and technologists must learn about law. Multidisciplinary teams with a shared commitment to law, regulation, and ethics can proactively address today’s AI challenges, and advance our collaborative problem-solving capabilities to address tomorrow’s increasingly complex problems. Lawyers and technologists must work together to create a better future for everyone.

 

From DSC:
As with higher education in general, we need more team-based efforts in the legal realm as well as more TrimTab Groups.

 

 

Excerpts:

Why does this distinction matter? Because law—like so many industries—is undergoing a tectonic shift. It is morphing from a lawyer dominated, practice-centric, labor-intensive guild to a tech-enabled, process and data-driven, multi-disciplinary global industry. The career paths, skills, and expectations of lawyers are changing. So too are how, when, and on what financial terms they are engaged; with whom and from what delivery models they work; their performance metrics, and the resources—human and machine—they collaborate with.  Legal practice is shrinking and the business of delivering legal services is expanding rapidly.

Law is no longer the exclusive province of lawyers. Legal knowledge is not the sole element of legal delivery—business and technological competencies are equally important. It’s a new ballgame—one that most lawyers are unprepared for.

How did we get here and are legal careers  for most a dead end? Spoiler alert: there’s tremendous opportunity in the legal industry. The caveat: all lawyers must have basic business and technological competency whether they pursue practice careers or leverage their legal knowledge as a skill in legal delivery and/or allied professional careers.

Upskilling the legal profession is already a key issue, a requisite for career success. Lawyers must learn new skills like project management, data analytics, deployment of technology, and process design to leverage their legal knowledge. Simply knowing the law will not cut it anymore.

 

From DSC:
I really appreciate the work of the above two men whose articles I’m highlighting here. I continue to learn a lot from them and am grateful for their work.

That said, just like it’s a lot to expect a faculty member (in higher ed) who teaches online to not only be a subject matter expert, but also to be skilled in teaching, web design, graphic design, navigation design, information design, audio design, video editing, etc…it’s a lot to expect for a lawyer to be a skilled lawyer, business person, and technician. I realize that Mark was only saying a basic level of competency…but even that can be difficult to achieve at times. Why? Because people have different skillsets, passions, and interests. One might be a good lawyer, but not a solid technician…or vice versa. One might be a solid professor, but isn’t very good with graphic design. 

 

To Tweet, or Not to Tweet. That Is the Question (for Law Professors) — from law.com by Karen Sloan
The number of law professors using Twitter has increased more than 500% since 2012, according to a new census.

Excerpt:

Law professors are trained to share their thoughts in lengthy, exhaustively footnoted journal articles. So it makes sense that the legal academy as a whole was initially reluctant to embrace Twitter, a medium that forces users to be concise and where the conversation can be bare-knuckled.

But it seems law professors are finally coming around to Twitter. A recent census of law professors on Twitter found that at least 1,310 are on the platform, which represents an increase of more than 500% from 2012, when just several hundred were tweeting.

More law professors have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon as they have watched early adopters use the platform in a variety of ways: From promoting their own work or offering commentary on the news of the day to connecting with others in their field or even engaging with the general public, said Bridget Crawford, a professor at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, who compiled the data.

 

Also see:

Law360 has learned that the Chicago Bar Foundation and Chicago Bar Association plan to launch a joint task force Oct. 7 to explore how state attorney regulations could be modified to encourage more innovation in the legal sector and ultimately increase access to justice.

 

 

Per Jane Hart on LinkedIn:

Top 200 Tools for Learning 2019 is now published, together with:

PLUS analysis of how these tools are being used in different context, new graphics, and updated comments on the tools’ pages that show how people are using the tools.

 

 

 

Screen Mirroring, Screencasting and Screen Sharing in Higher Education — from edtechmagazine.com by Derek Rice
Digital learning platforms let students and professors interact through shared videos and documents.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Active learning, collaboration, personalization, flexibility and two-way communication are the main factors driving today’s modern classroom design.

Among the technologies being brought to bear in academic settings are those that enable screen mirroring, screencasting and screen sharing, often collectively referred to as wireless presentation solutions.

These technologies are often supported by a device and app that allow users, both students and professors, to easily share content on a larger screen in a classroom.

“The next best thing to a one-to-one conversation is to be able to share what the students create, as part of the homework or class activity, or communicate using media to provide video evidence of class activities and enhance and build out reading, writing, speaking, listening, language and other skills,” says Michael Volpe, marketing manager for IOGEAR.

 

‘The Dangers of Fluent Lectures’ — from insidehighered.com by Colleen Flaherty
A study says smooth-talking professors can lull students into thinking they’ve learned more than they actually have — potentially at the expense of active learning.

Excerpt:

The paper also provides important insight into why active learning hasn’t taken deeper root in academe, despite the many studies that have previously identified its effectiveness as compared to more passive approaches (namely the lecture). In a word: students. That is, while professors are often seen as the biggest impediments to innovative teaching, the study describes an “inherent student bias against active learning that can limit its effectiveness and may hinder the wide adoption of these methods.”

Compared with students in traditional lectures, students in active classes perceived that they learned less, while in reality they learned more. Students also rated the quality of instruction in passive lectures more highly, and expressed a preference to have “all of their physics classes taught this way,” despite their lower test scores.

In some ways, he said, “the study confirms what we have suspected anecdotally for a long time — that students feel more comfortable in a lecture environment and believe that they are learning more because of the expectations they have for a college learning environment.” But, in fact, he said, they’re “actually learning more in the environments where they are actively engaged in building knowledge about key concepts.”

 

From DSC:
The part about the students feeling more comfortable in a lecture environment and believing that they are learning more reminded me of this research/paper (which the graphics below reference and link to as well), where they mention the practices of highlighting and re-reading some text. Students feel like they are really learning the content more thoroughly when they are doing these things (and this is what I did in college as well). But the evidence shows that the utility of these methods is low. Instead, practice testing — which involves retrieval practice, as well as distributed practice and interleaved practice produce stronger results.

So what students feel and what’s actually occurring can be different…as Colleen’s article from insidehighered.com points out.

That said — and as the article asserted as well — is that some lecturing is fine to do:

At the same time, Eyler stressed that existing literature shows that some limited lecturing is “definitely OK,” as “students need to know content in order to engage in higher order thinking.”

 

 

Addendum on 9/14/19:

 

 

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