engaging students in active learning 2009

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This is a presentation at a campus in 2009. It focuses on adult learners and commuters primarily


  • 1. Engaging Students in Active Learning Brian D. Dusbiber, Ed. D. November 18, 2009

2. Engaging Students

  • Engaging students in learning is the responsibility of, and the opportunity for, faculty, staff and administration.
  • Must be situated in both the mission and context of the university. The student profile includes:
  • > Commuters
  • > Transfers
  • > Non-traditional
  • > Diverse
  • University promotes integration of life experiences with classroom learning.
  • Places value on educational accessibility and that student educational outcomes are useful and significant.

3. Engaging students

  • Campus environment should create:
  • > Intentional interactions with desirable outcomes.
  • > Opportunities for self authorship and meaning making
  • via beliefs, identity, and relationships.
  • > Mutual and collaborative construction of knowledge.
  • > Integration of personal values to goal setting.
  • > Connections to community and world.
  • > Building skill sets of expertise and problem solving.
  • > Advance critical thinking and analysis skills.

4. Engaging students

  • When considering learning environments:
  • Adult learners are particularly motivated when they are involved in tasks directly related to personal goals and theygain skills that apply to their life .
  • Students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds benefit at even higher levels from faculty interaction and participation in peer projects both inside and outside the classroom (NSSE, 2006)

5. Engaging students

  • Commuters have less contact with teachers.
  • They are less likely to participate in:
  • > Co-curricular activities
  • > Community service
  • > Study abroad
  • > Internships

6. Engaging students

  • However, compared to non-commuters they are just as likely to:
  • > work harder than they thought they could to meet an
  • instructors standards
  • > work with other students on projects during class
  • > ask questions or contribute to class discussions
  • > discuss ideas from reading with others outside of class
  • While constraints exist, they put forth as much effort asother students.

7. Implementing the principle of engaging studentsin active learning

  • Collaborate on faculty and student affairs workshops on student learning.
  • Build staff development on adult learning theory, transfer student experience.
  • Explore advancing leaning communities and coordinated studies programs. Focus on skill and interest development.
  • Focus service learning on developing critical thinking skills, and reflective practice.
  • Build connections between in class and co curricular learning around social issues and social justice.

8. Implementing the principle of engaging studentsin active learning

  • Introduce students to difference. Provide challenge, with support.
  • Utilize assessment and evaluation tools in staff development, both quantitative and qualitative.
  • Assess need for or extent of ESL services, math and writing labs, tutoring and mentoring programs.
  • Evaluate library and study space, group study areas.
  • Review student leadership development programs, promote collaborative approach across campus.

9. Implementing the principle of engaging studentsin active learning

  • Lead staff support of in class team projects, case studies, study groups, field projects, research .
  • Work collaboratively to identify new internship sites.
  • Advance study abroad opportunities.
  • Support senior capstone experiences. Including portfolio projects and journal writing.
  • Continue to build student employment opportunities on campus.
  • Support student organizations affiliated with academic programs.

10. Implementing the principle of engaging studentsin active learning

  • Include students in university committees as appropriate.
  • Establish expectations for career development opportunities.
  • Evaluate and increase number of honor societies, recognition programs.
  • Promote student led literary publications, art exhibits, musical presentations.
  • Recogni ze staff who promote critical thinking, leadership development, and community engagement in students.