Teaching Generation NeXt: Methods and Techniques for Today’s Learners
Activity necessarily improves engagement, since the active student is an engaged student. Several tech- niques improve student engagement directly.
Techniques to Improve Student Engagement
Ensuring that students are prepared for class can improve in-class engagement, as they have made an investment, possess some knowledge about the subject, and have something to interact about. Audience response systems or clickers are powerful tools for keeping students engaged, especially in large classes (Bruff 2009;; Caldwell 2007;; Duncan 2005). They also encourage class discussion, which increases en- gagement. When students are using audience response system apps on their smartphones, they are less likely to be using those mobile devises for other activities, like texting and games, that reduce engagement with the class.
When encouraging class participation and discussion, student participation should not be voluntary. Vol- untary participation tends to be less engaging for the majority of students, as the few most verbal and extroverted students tend to monopolize class discussion. When all students know that they may be called on, especially when the selection is randomized, they remain more engaged.
Improve Assessments and Accountability
As instruction moves from the traditional faculty delivery of content process to a student construction of learning model, instructors also need to move from a reliance on summative assessments of learning outcomes to assign grades, usually emphasizing content, to ongoing formative efforts to monitor and PHDVXUH WKH HI¿FDF\ RI LQVWUXFWLRQ DQG VWXGHQWV¶ PRYHPHQW WRZDUG PHDQLQJIXO OHDUQLQJ RXWFRPHV
Techniques in Formative Assessments
Classroom response systems help instructors monitor ongoing student learning (Bruff 2009;; Caldwell 2007;; Duncan 2005). Low-tech techniques like ungraded quizzes, private response, and anonymous op- portunities allow all students opportunities to let instructors know their ongoing understandings or skills. Summative assessments and graded learning outcomes should move from a reliance on content to broader measures inclusive of skills and attitudes.
Techniques in Summative Assessments
Since students are assessed at the content level based on bringing content to class, there may be less QHHG IRU DQG HPSKDVLV RQ FRQWHQWOHYHO WHVWLQJ &RQWHQWOHYHO DVVHVVPHQW VKRXOG EH UHÀHFWHG LQ VNLOOV assessments. There should be less emphasis on students’ ability to regurgitate information and more on their ability to apply that information.
Assessments of learning related to values, the affective level, and how much students have come to care are relatively new to most faculty, but can be explored and addressed through open-ended short-answer and essay questions like “What was the most important thing you learned from this chapter?” and “How can what you learned from this unit help you in the future?”
Accountability relates to our efforts to improve instructional practices and educational outcomes in light of our professional obligations and the expectations of accreditors, employers, governments, funders, parents,
A Collection of Papers on Self-Study and Institutional Improvement, 2011
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