Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Seminar on active learning in Canberra

Vicky Minderhout of Seattle University will give a free seminar on "Active learning in large lectures" at the ANU in Canberra, 12 July 2010. However, I remain skeptical of this approach. It appears to be a suboptimal teaching technique designed to make use of obsolete infrastructure. It would make more sense to start planning now to demolish large lecture theatres which are no longer needed and replace them with something more useful. ANU has previously had seminars on the MIT iCampus and others advocating large class interactive learning. However, even MIT's specially designed rooms do not look that suitable for modern education techniques. With the availability of online learning facilities there is very little reason to have large scale teaching rooms.
'I already teach well, why should I change?: Active learning in large lectures.

The ALIUS project — Active learning in University Science — funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, is sponsoring the visit of noted American innovator in chemical education and teaching practice, Vicky Minderhout of Seattle University. Ms Minderhout is a respected researcher in biochemical education. She is a co-author of materials developed for guided inquiry and problem solving in a year-long biochemistry sequence for majors, and a member of the departmental team implementing similar activities in general chemistry. She has published papers on classroom activities and implementing active learning in college classrooms, including creating a facilitation plan for active learning.

Ms Minderhout will present a workshop for all university educators introducing Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) as an alternative instructional approach for university science and non-science instruction. The POGIL Project, funded for over seven year for more than US$3 million, is a professional development effort providing various types of support for university staff interested in implementing a more student-centered approach in their classrooms.
Speaker/Host: Vicki Minderhout, from Seattle University
Venue: BaMBi Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Peter Baume Building [42a]
Date: Monday, 12 July 2010
Time: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Website: http://www.pogil.org
Enquiries: Susan Howitt on 6125 4356, Anna Wilson on 6125 2806

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