Using a reading strategy to foster active learning in content area courses.
Research indicates that active learning is desirable in the college classroom in lieu of Instead of; in place of; in substitution of. It does not mean in addition to. a passive lecture style. The dilemma of many professors is how to introduce active learning in a traditional lecture course. K-W-L, a reading strategy, which promotes active reading, is adapted to facilitate active learning in the traditional lecture classroom This strategy facilitates critical thinking, professor-student interaction and retention in the course and in college.
Inn today's college classrooms, active learning is becoming increasingly important in teaching most subjects. Paulson and Faust (2000) define active learning as any activities students do in a classroom other than just listening to the instructor's lecture. Research shows that students understand the material better and retain it longer if they can react to lecture or course material actively (Paulson & Faust; Romig & Allbee, 2000). Active learning techniques allow instructors to assess the students and their level of learning throughout the course. When students learn actively, they become more connected to the subject matter, practice critical thinking and interact more with the professor and class members, which make them more likely to stay in college and graduate. Research indicates that the student-faculty interaction that develops as a part of active learning fosters the retention of students in the class and in college (Seeler, Turnwald & Bull, 1994).
It is difficult to initiate active learning, promote a positive student-faculty interaction, and utilize non-threatening assessment in traditional lecture courses. Faculty can institute the changes in curriculum and teaching styles that are necessary to foster active learning and initiate student-faculty interaction by using the reading strategy, What I Know--What I Want to Know--What I Learned (K-W-L), at the beginning and end of each unit taught in a college lecture course. The traditional K-W-L reading strategy can be adapted to transform the traditional lecture class to an interactive.
K-W-L As A Reading Strategy
The K-W-L strategy is a method devised to teach students to read actively by engaging previous knowledge, asking questions, and recalling important information in the text to enhance comprehension (Carr & Ogle, 1987). In the K-W-L strategy, the students are asked to list what they know about the subject and the questions they may have about the subject before reading the text selection. Then after reading the selection, the students are asked to write what they have learned about the subject. This strategy prompts the students to identify previous knowledge, to consider what they want or need to know and list the useful information learned from the selection during reading (Aldridge, 1989; Carr & Ogle, 1987; Simpson, 1996). This strategy expects the students to evaluate what they know and learn. The student may take the information learned in the selection and use it in a concept map or outline or as a summary of the selection (Carr & Ogle). This strategy promotes active learning through reading, writing, discussing and/or problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. . Research shows that active learning strategies like K-W-L lead students to engage in higher-order thinking such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation (Bonwell & Eison, 1991; Muskingum College Approximately 1,700 undergraduate students are currently enrolled at Muskingum, choosing from more than 40 academic majors. New programs have recently been launched in graphic design, criminal justice, engineering, and a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program is coming soon. , 1999). These higher levels of thinking are necessary.
Adapting K-W-L As an Active Learning Strategy
K-W-L can be adapted to transform the lecture style college course into an active learning environment. Although most college professors accept that students learn from interaction with the faculty and classmates Classmates can refer to either:
1 City (1990 pop. 26,265), Johnson co., central Ind.; settled 1822, inc. as a city 1960. A residential suburb of Indianapolis, Greenwood is in a retail shopping area. Manufactures include motor vehicle parts and metal products. , 1989). K-W-L can be used as an initial tool to allow feedback on what information students possess about the topic to be taught, what questions they have about this topic and what they have learned when the instructor is ready to move on to the next topic.
To introduce the active learning process in a lecture course with K-W-L, the professor asks the students to write down what they know about the unit or topic to be taught allowing the students to tap into previous knowledge and experience, identical to its use as a reading strategy. This step also allows the students to analyze and evaluate what knowledge and experiences actually fit with the new topic. Carr and Ogle (1987) state that students' comprehension of new material is linked to previous knowledge and understanding of the topic. As in the reading strategy, the instructor then asks the students to write questions they have about the subject to be taught. This allows the student to clarify ideas and concepts in question form. Not only are all students given the opportunity to respond, but do not need to feel embarrassed about asking questions in front of their classmates. The professor then collects the papers and reads them. Based on the information gathered, the professor can correct students' erroneous erroneous adj. 1) in error, wrong. 2) not according to established law, particularly in a legal decision or court ruling. preconceptions, adjust class sessions to allow for previous student exposure to the subject and address the questions while teaching the unit. At the end of each class session or the end of the unit, the instructor asks the students to list the information learned about the subject. These lists can alert the instructor to any areas that need to be reviewed. The professor can also evaluate the depth and breadth of the material learned from these lists minimizing the need for tests that could be anxiety producing (Moorman & Blanton, 1990). Student feedback can also be the basis for class or group discussions and/or projects on the unit.
Using K-W-L to Initiate Active Learning
Before using any strategy to initiate active learning in the classroom, the professor needs to decide what level of student participation is desired. This decision can be the result of learning objectives set by the faculty member or the academic department. Class size, current ability of the students and physical environment all must be considered (Seeler et al., 1994). K-W-L is a very adaptable strategy that can allow for all these variables.
To introduce K-W-L into a course before teaching a unit in any discipline, the professor asks the students to take a sheet of paper and divide it in three parts or the professor can prepare forms with three columns and distribute them to the class. After the students write their names and the unit topic to be studied, the professor asks the students to write down in the first column what they know about the unit topic. For example, in an American History class the unit may be on "The Age of Jackson." The class is instructed to jot down Verb 1. jot down - write briefly or hurriedly; write a short note of
write - communicate or express by writing; "Please write to me every week" what they know about early nineteenth century America and Andrew Jackson. When the students finish the first column, the instructor asks what questions they may have about "The Age of Jackson." After completing the second column, the papers are collected and read by the professor after class.
The information in the first column will give clues to the class's present knowledge about the subject allowing the professor to include or exclude background or supplementary information. The questions in the second column can guide the professor in choosing particular material that may be of interest to each class. Depending on class size and other variables, the professor may want to use student questions to start group or class discussions. Students will establish a closer tie to the subject, classmates and the instructor if they feel involved in the course, which will foster retention in, and completion of the class.
At the end of each class session or the unit, the professor redistributes the K-W-L papers and asks the students to write down what they learned through the lectures, class sessions, and/or readings on the topic. The professor then collects and reads this column. The professor will be able to determine if the students read and/or understood the text, subject, and major concepts of the unit. This column can be utilized in several different ways. For example, it can be the basis for review and/ or test questions. The material from this section can be used as discussion starters or for grouping students into discussion teams or for constructing graphic organizers such as semantic maps.
Instead of making a list, Weisenberg (1997) has students write what they learned on "post-it notes" and places them on a class concept map. The advantage of K-W-L is that it fosters student-faculty interaction beyond what standard lecture courses usually allow. Once students feel the professor is interested in what they know and learn, they may be more willing to meet with the professor before and/or after class, or during office hours office hours,
n.pl See business hours. .
The traditional college classroom or lecture hall lecture hall n → sala de conferencias;
(UNIV) → aula
lecture hall lecture n → amphithéâtre m
tends to be teacher-and/or subject-centered, which facilitates passive learning that often leave students feeling uninvolved un·in·volved
Feeling or showing no interest or involvement; unconcerned: an uninvolved bystander.
Adj. 1. and marginalized. Recent research points to the necessity for students to be actively involved in their learning, which can significantly increase mastery of content, and foster the development of thinking skills (Bonwell & Eison, 1991). Since research shows retention of information from lecture is low, K-W-L can tap into the students' interests motivating them to learn the information (Gardiner, 1994). By using K-W-L as an active learning strategy, professors can introduce active learning strategies into their classrooms at a gradual or accelerated rate depending on the professor's comfort level. This strategy can help instructors become more aware of what level of understanding the students have of the topic before and after it is taught. The time the professor spends reading the responses is very valuable allowing him/her to see the effectiveness of teaching styles and methods.
Because the K-W-L lists are not graded, the procedure is nonthreatening to the students. If the professor wishes, after the unit, students can make their L column (what they learned) into a summary, or graphic organizer Graphic organizers are visual representations of knowledge, concepts or ideas. They are known to help
tr. & intr.v. deep·ened, deep·en·ing, deep·ens
To make or become deep or deeper.
Noun 1. deepening - a process of becoming deeper and more profound understanding of the subject along with the student's evaluation of his/her own learning. The K-W-L for each topic or unit can be included in folders, notebooks or portfolios for the course.
Using K-W-L as an active learning strategy in a traditional lecture classroom setting can facilitate increased and quality interaction between professor, students and subject matter. The interaction begins with the students' lists and the professor's response either in adapting the lecture or in class discussions. This increased interaction will foster better understanding of the material and use of critical thinking such as analyzing and evaluating by the students. The deeper understanding of the material along with quality interaction in the classroom can lead to retention in the course, retention in college, and eventually to the student's graduation (Kalsner, 1999). This method also fosters a sense of community between professor, the discipline, and students even in large classes as discussed in Claxton (1991), and Angelo and Cross (1993). K-W-L, as an active learning strategy, allows the students who feel invisible or marginalized in college classrooms an opportunity to contribute in classes too large for verbal interaction with the professor. One of the advantages of active learning is that it appears to benefit all students.
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intr. & tr.v. sum·ma·rized, sum·ma·riz·ing, sum·ma·riz·es
To make a summary or make a summary of.
sum . Journal of Reading, 626-631.
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Romig, J.L. & Allbee, I.E. (2000). Some guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. for active learning in the college classroom. Available:http://www.drake drake
1. male duck.
2. loliumtemulentum. .edu/romig/activelng.
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Margaret Fritz fritz
A condition in which something does not work properly: Our television is on the fritz.
[Perhaps from German Fritz is an assistant professor at The University of Toledo National recognition
In its 125-year history UT has garnered several national accolades. The University’s programs, faculty and facilities have been highlighted in the media, including in the Interdisciplinary and Special Programs Department. She teaches Developmental Reading, Orientation for At-Risk Students, Creative Problem Solving Creative problem solving is the mental process of creating a solution to a problem. It is a special form of problem solving in which the solution is independently created rather than learned with assistance. Creative problem solving requires more than just knowledge and thinking. and Adult Liberal Studies Seminars.