Active Learning in Large Classes: Tech Ed Presentation

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Shay Fuchs, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, recently discussed an active learning redesign in one of his large math courses with Macmillan Learning. The course typically has 400 to 500 students divided into sections, and the traditional teaching approach was yielding unsatisfactory results. They had high dropout rates, low attendance, and a significant number of students failing the course. In response, they completely redesigned the course in September 2018, implementing an active learning pedagogy. The new approach involved students preparing for class in advance by reading and completing pre-class assessments, followed by interactive in-class activities and discussions. The post-class phase included more traditional homework assignments. Shay commends the use of tools like iClicker and Achieve to facilitate this new approach in large classes.

This active learning strategy aimed to improve engagement and student performance. The shift in pedagogy from passive lectures to active learning represents a significant change in teaching methodology, and it's an approach that educators in various settings might find relevant and valuable, even if they don't teach large classes. Active learning encourages student involvement and engagement, ultimately leading to better educational outcomes. Watch Shay discuss his experience in depth by clicking the video below!

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