Stimulating active learning / Maximising interactivity, participation and engagement
I aim to enhance student engagement, participation and interaction within my classes, as a way to increase their ability to deeply comprehend course content. Rather than assist the students to develop basic recall knowledge, I attempt to have each student obtain an in-depth understanding of the context surrounding each session objective. I accomplish this through a mix of technology-enhanced learning, kinaesthetic activities, active class participation and engaging session formats. This approach assists students to not just understand the information at a higher level, but allows them to instantly analyse and apply the content. Students not only enjoy this enthusiastic approach, but it stimulates a personal curiosity towards the session context, and develops a deeper understanding of the content. Each week, my sessions develop on the foundational content covered in the prior week. When students are engaged in the content, they learn more, and so outside of my face-to-face sessions, involvement is continually encouraged through online discussions, quizzes, interactive applications, gamification and other learning tools. An example of this is the “Principles Revision Game”, a fully-immersive 3D role-playing adventure game where the student needs to answer questions from past examinations to advance. In each of my classes, students have ample opportunities to ask questions, interact through backchannel online wiki’s, message boards, response-clickers and other applications. Even with the plethora of technology used, I ensure that I spend time each lesson using the whiteboard, deliberately scaffolding specific content or complex processes when required. My approach to teaching moves away from the “teacher-centric” traditional style of education to a “student-driven” mode of interactive and experiential learning. I reflect upon, and act on, student feedback, allowing me to improve course content and activities each semester based upon past cohort’s commentary, aiming to improve the courses each semester they are run.