Active Learning at SRM Amaravati- The present and future of higher education
The growing presence of the Millennials followed by Gen Z has changed the nature of the workforce world over. Their expectations from the workspace are dynamically different from their predecessors. Interestingly, expectations of corporates and the industry have changed too. Problem-solving, decision making, EQ are some of the most sought-after skills now.
Centres for higher learning and educationists have had to rise to the challenge to shape professionals who possess these skills. It has prompted them to adopt new-age learning strategies that lead to the desired growth and development of students. Amongst the strategies, Active Learning is one that has shown exciting results and is definitely here to stay.
What is Active Learning, and what makes it different?
Quite simply, it is an approach to teaching where students are active participants in the learning process. It’s in stark contrast to conventional lecturing where, as a student, you would be a passive recipient of knowledge. Active Learning approach can be implemented in different streams of education equally effectively.
In traditional classrooms, you would have only a few students asking or responding to questions every session. Active Learning changes that as it not only allows but also enables all students to participate in learning activities. However, that does not mean it has to replace the traditional classroom format completely; in fact, it serves as a powerful ally.
What does Active Learning involve?
Active Learning encourages students to participate in big and small activities that revolve around reflecting, responding, writing, solving problems and more. As a student, you would have to spend some amount of time in the classrooms doing these activities either individually or in small groups.
Active Learning, in its simplest form, begins with reflection and pondering over an idea mentioned in the classroom. It can progress through large group discussions, brainstorming, case studies, role-playing to experiential learning, in its levels of complexities. The activities are designed to give students time to assess their understanding and practice skills too.
Astonishing results achieved through Active Learning
Experts recommend certain steps for the successful execution of Active Learning. The trick lies in choosing meaningful activities and explaining the rationale to students. Educators also need to develop a facilitation approach. Finally, faculty members should ideally collect feedback and keep track of it for future reference.
According to studies, Active Learning improves critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills as well as motivation. Freeman study suggested that without active learning, students were 1.5 times more likely to fail a course. Owens, Sadler, Barlow, & Smith-Walters research in 2017 proves the influence of Active Learning on emotional states of students.
These are just some of the reasons why Active Learning has found an active place on higher studies and is the way ahead.