BLOG: Instructor Perception of Incorporating Active Learning in College of Agriculture Classrooms
By Elizabeth Karcher, Daniel Guberman, Emily Bonem and John Lumkes
If you knew something was going to have a tremendous impact on your students, would you do it? Can you imagine a classroom where students are engaged with the material, collaborating with classmates, and more likely to successfully meet course learning outcomes? What if it meant rethinking your role as an educator in the classroom?
I believe that the majority of my colleagues would say yes. We want our students to thrive while developing long-term and lasting skills and interest in the course topics. Active learning (AL) pedagogies have the potential to impact the students in our classrooms in all of these ways. However, despite overwhelming evidence and incentives to implement, resistance remains strong. Our research team explored educators’ motivation to implement AL strategies in their classrooms and what factors impact this motivation and ultimately pedagogical practices.
We discovered that educators who were involved in faculty learning communities felt the most competent in their abilities to implement AL in their class and that these educators followed through and incorporated AL into their courses. Female educators also felt more competent and participated in more teaching development activities compared with male educators. We concluded from our work that colleges and departments should provide environments that encourage teaching discussions and emphasize the value of teaching and learning to the organization. Educators need to feel that the efforts they are taking to adopt learner-centered pedagogies are valued by their colleagues. The question remains, if we know our students will benefit from the implementation of AL, why don’t more of us do it?
So, I leave you with the challenge of creating informal discussion opportunities for your colleagues! A space to talk about what you do in the classroom. Share your successes and failures.
Read the full TLI article here.