Exploring Active Learning Strategies at UW Bothell

Research shows that active learning can enhance student learning. Active learning is generally defined as students actively engaging in course activities such as discussions, group work and problem solving, usually within the context of the classroom. At UW, there are a number of faculty who are participating in a tri-campus active learning faculty community that is exploring how to incorporate active learning into teaching and learning. The groups from each campus are meeting collectively via video three times during the quarter as well as meeting individually between the tri-campus meetings. The UWB faculty learning community is being led by Andreas Brockhaus, Director of Learning Technologies, David Goldstein, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center and Erin Hill, QSC Director.

One of the first themes the tri-campus group is considering are strategies and challenges for incorporating active learning into various class sizes. Faculty are looking at resources like the Active Learning in Higher Education Journal and the  University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Teaching and Learning, Active Learning page to come up with ideas on how active learning can be successfully used in small or large class sizes.

Other ways active learning strategies are being explored at UW Bothell include considering how classrooms can be designed to facilitate active learning. A number of higher education instiutions, including UW, are designing classrooms to better facilitate group work, collaboration and faculty-student interactions. A recent paper issued by UWB Learning Technologies outlines active learning classroom concepts, characteristics and models which possibly could be implemented at UW Bothell.