Support Active Learning
Bridging the gap between in-class lectures and real-world experience can be a challenge. Multimedia (sound, images, animation) and computer-based simulations can be valuable tools to elucidate abstract concepts and help students participate actively in their learning. Other tools can be used to connect your students with professional and research communities in your field.
- Provide students with active learning experiences.
- Help students understand abstract or complicated ideas.
- Show students useful applications of theoretical ideas.
- Connect students with other professionals in the field.
Options for supporting active learning are suggested below.
Email, distribution lists and newsgroups can help you and your students access and involve professionals who work in your field. For example, you could encourage your students to use email to consult experts directly as they develop a term paper.
Add hypertext or images to your course Web site that link directly to the
Internet resources of other research institutions, relevant companies or
people that your students may find useful throughout the quarter and beyond.
You might want to provide students with links to professional organizations
and Web sites for conferences in your discipline.
Catalyst Portfolio Tool
The Catalyst Portfolio Tool allows students to collect, annotate, arrange,
and display on the Web a variety of digital artifacts that illustrate their
accomplishments. By creating a portfolio project for your students, you
can encourage them to take responsibility for their learning. Portfolios
can also be published to the Web for others to view, potentially opening
up the audience of the individual student's assignment to the general public.
Catalyst GoPost tool
GoPost allows you to create a threaded, Web-based discussion board for your
students to compare notes, discuss assignments, and work together online.
Messages can be posted and read with any Web browser. Students can attach their work to posts, reflect on others' work, and post a response. In addition, students can also post links to relevant Web sites, or attach files to their posts, such as audio and video files. You have control over
who has access to the GoPost forum, and you can even allow students to use
alternate screen names to make them feel more comfortable.
You can bring the "real world" into your classroom or Web site by illustrating
your argument with diagrams, photos, maps, video clips, and a variety of
other visual resources. For example, your students can explore thousands
of photographs of cities and buildings
as they study history, architecture, geography, or other related topics.
Simulations are the next best thing to "real" experience with applied course content. They offer access to what is otherwise too small, too dangerous, or too expensive to handle. For example, your students can learn about the powers of ten or take a crack at balancing the federal budget through simulations.
Wikis are Web sites that can be browsed and easily edited by anyone with Internet access and a Web browser. They can be a very useful tool for student collaboration and cooperation. Not only can students easily collaborate on a project using a Wiki, they can also easily make it public and invite experts in the field to react to their contribution.
MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)
MERLOT is an online educational portal that contains links to thousands of online learning materials created by college faculty in all subject areas. All material is peer-reviewed. You can easily find the material you need to support your teaching and address the diverse learning styles of your students.