Expecting students to consume rather than create

Literature about adult learning clearly identifies interaction with the material as a key piece to learning. One challenge we face in the traditional veterinary curriculum is that students spend 30-35h a week in class or laboratories – leaving little to no time for active learning outside of the face-to-face sessions. I have started to integrate more and more “mini mental activities” into face-to-face learning, whereby students create a schematic, an explanation, or answer questions on their own followed by a brief discussion with their neighbor (our classrooms do not allow for “true” group work because of fixed seats). There is always such beautiful “noise” in the room when students discuss their output. And often students, as a pair, come up with more thoughtful and deeper questions.

Christiane Loehr

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2 Responses to Expecting students to consume rather than create

  1. greggji says:

    I am always looking for the students to share with the class after these minidiscussions. But I like the concept that it may be enough to just have shared with someone else or the small group they are in.
    Thanks for posting!

  2. reynolry says:

    I love the “noise” too. I sometimes find that my students are willing to discuss in pairs or small groups but aren’t as vocal when we turn to sharing what they discussed with the whole class.

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