Active Learning in Large Classes

The following article is a continuation of Active Learning – Remembering
In an active learning environment, formative assessment of learning is important because:
• it allows both the professor and the students to evaluate on a regular basis how they are progressing in achieving the class objectives
• both professor and students can adjust their activities based on the feedback they receive.
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The images below represent how Dr. Kalyani Premkumar, an assistant professor in our College of Medicine answered the question, “How can my students and I best understand the nature, quality and progress of their learning?”* The class had over 80 undergraduate medical and dental students studying about the general characteristics of hormones. Dr. Premkumar wanted students to demonstrate their understanding of the classification system, she had just lectured on.
Before Class Began
Classification terms were printed, cut and sorted into piles.
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Piles were placed in 10 envelopes with 4X4 cards that were printed with the major headings for the classification.
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After The Lecture
Groups of five students were given an envelope
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The whole room was engaged in learning.
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Within 5 minutes, they had completed the sorting
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Dr. Premkumar checked the results and provided feedback. Class debriefed with questions.
The question “How can my students and I best understand the nature, quality and progress of their learning?” comes from the book What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/BAIBES.html.