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Alternative Instructional Strategies:

Part I General Intro on Active Learning

and Motivation and Creative Thinking
Dr. Curtis J. Bonk
Associate Professor, Indiana University,

Expectations List

Why is Class Important

For Students:

Variety, variety, variety

Address preferences
Provide challenges and supports
Allows some autonomy
Better prepared for changing times

For Instructors:
Get to know students better
More reflection on teaching
More confidence

My Intentions: Who Targeted

Update teaching methods and philosophies

Build collaborative teams
Provide labels for what already do
Create long-range goals
Design usable curricula
Foster interaction and collaboration
Stop being giant yellow highlighters

Preliminary Action Plan

Test Question #1
When will active learning meet
active teaching?

Charles I. Gragg (1940:

Because Wisdom Cant be Told)
A student of business with tact
Absorbed many answers he lacked.
But acquiring a job,
He said with a sob,
How does one fit answer to fact?


Supposed sage, manager, conveyer

King of the mountain
Sets the agenda
Learner is a sponge
Passive learning & discrete knowledge
Objectively assess, competitive
Text- or teacher-centered
Transmission model
Lack interconnections & inert
Squash student ideas

Anyone? Anyone?

Must Statistics and Math

teachers be boring?

The NSSE (nessie) (Kuh, 2003)

It's an embarrassment that we

can tell people almost anything
about education except how
well students are learning.
Patrick M. Callan, National Center for Public
Policy and Higher Education

What Really Matters in College:

Student Engagement

The research is unequivocal: students

who are actively involved in both
academic and out-of-class activities
gain more from the college experience
than those who are not so involved.

Ernest T. Pascarella & Patrick T. Terenzini,

How College Affects Students

Evidence of
Student Engagement
(Kuh, 2003)
To what extent are students engaged
in effective educational practices?
How can we obtain and best use such

National Survey of
Student Engagement
(pronounced nessie)

Community College
Survey of Student
(pronounced sessie)

College student surveys that assess

the extent to which students engage
in educational practices associated
with high levels of learning and
development (Kuh, 2003)

Benchmarks of Effective
Educational Practice
(Kuh, in press)

Level of Academic Challenge

Challenging intellectual and
creative work is central to student
learning and collegiate quality.
Colleges and universities promote
high levels of student achievement
by emphasizing the importance of
academic effort and setting high
expectations for student
performance (Kuh, 2003).

Level of Academic Challenge

(Kuh, 2003)
Sample of 10 questions:
Number of assigned textbooks, books, or
book-length packs of course readings
Number of written papers or reports of 20
pages or more
Coursework emphasizes: Analyzing the basic
elements of an idea, experience or theory
Coursework emphasizes: Synthesizing and
organizing ideas, information, or experiences
Coursework emphasizes: Making judgments
about the value of information, arguments, or

Active and Collaborative Learning

(Kuh, 2003)
Students learn more when they are
intensely involved in their education and
are asked to think about and apply what
they are learning in different settings.
Collaborating with others in solving
problems or mastering difficult material
prepares students to deal with the messy,
unscripted problems they will encounter
daily during and after college.

Active and Collaborative Learning

(Kuh, 2003)
7 questions:
Asked questions in class or contributed to class
Made a class presentation
Worked with other students on projects during class
Worked with classmates outside of class to prepare
class assignments
Tutored or taught other students
Participated in a community-based project as part of
a regular course
Discussed ideas from your reading or classes with
others outside of class (students, family members,
co-workers, etc.)

Are senior transfer students

generally more or less engaged
compared with native
Less engaged (Kuh, 2003)

What Were Learning About Student

Engagement From NSSE
George Kuh (in press). Change
Indiana University Bloomington

What Were Learning About Student

Engagement From NSSE
George Kuh (in press). Change
Indiana University Bloomington

Active & Collaborative Learning

Samford University makes
extensive use of problem-based
learning (PBL) strategies to
induce students to work together
to examine complex problems.

Active & Collaborative Learning

Eckerd College developed Autumn
Term, a month during which classes
meet from 9 AM to noon, five days a
week. Group projects and
discussion-oriented pedagogies are
coupled with a community service

Student-Faculty Interaction
Elon University added an extra
hour of class meeting time for
experiential learning. This allows
students and faculty to dig
deeper and promotes more
frequent student-faculty contact.

A Paradigm Shift Happening?

Students are too often

Not very interested in ideas

Not respectful of others ideas
Not well organized
Wanting learning to seem easy
Emotionally moody and sleepy
Preoccupied with previous class or hour
Expecting entertainment
Unable to concentrate for too long
Isolated or alienated

Learning Metaphors
Teacher or text-centered to Student or thinking
skill-centered to Student generated or problemcentered
Transmission to Construction or Design to
Discovery or Transformation
Boring to Active to Love of Learning
Sponge to Growing Tree to Pilgrim on a

Smart Schools
(Perkins, 1992)
Causes of educational shortfall

Trivial pursuit model

Ability counts most theory
Missing, inert, nave, ritual knowledge
Poor thinking, rely on knowledge telling, cannot make
inferences and solve problems

Educational Goals
Retention, understanding, and active use of knowledge

Consultative Teachers

Co-learner, mentor, tour guide, facilitator

Student and problem-centered
Learner is a growing tree and on a journey
Knowledge is constructed and intertwined
Many resources (including texts & teachers)
Authentic, collaborative, real-world tasks
Subjective, continual, less formal assess
Display student ideas--proud and motivated
Build CT, CR, CL skills

And also a sense

of humor!!!

Active Learning Principles:

1. Authentic/Raw Data
2. Student Autonomy/Inquiry
3. Relevant/Meaningful/Interests
4. Link to Prior Knowledge
5. Choice and Challenge
6. Teacher as Facilitator and Co-Learner
7. Social Interaction and Dialogue
8. Problem-Based & Student Gen Learning
9. Multiple Viewpoints/Perspectives
10. Collab, Negotiation, & Reflection

7 Fundamental Principles of Learning

(Kahn, 1993)
1. Learning is social
2. Knowledge is integrated into life of
3. Learning is an act of membership
4. Knowing in engagement in practice
5. Engagement & empowerment are linked
6. Failure to learn results from exclusion
from practice
7. We have a society of lifelong learners

Resources in a Learning

Self Reflection

Sociocultural Ideas

Shared Space and Intersubjectivity

Social Dialogue on Authentic Problems
Mentoring and Teleapprenticeships
Scaffolding and Electronic Assistance
Group Processing and Reflection
Collaboration and Negotiation in ZPD
Choice and Challenge
Community of Learning with Experts and Peers
Portfolio Assessment and Feedback
Assisted Learning (e.g., task structuring)

Connections New Theories

Situated Learning--asserts that

learning is most effective in authentic,

or real world, contexts with problems
that allow students to generate
own solution paths (Brown,
Collins, & Duguid, 1989).

Constructivism--concerned with

learner's actual act of creating meaning

(Brooks, 1990). The constructivist
argues that the child's mind actively
constructs relationships and ideas;
hence, meaning is derived from
negotiating, generating, and linking
concepts within a community of peers
(Harel & Papert, 1991).

Teacher Self-Assessment for

active learning. (Bonk, 1995)
In my classes...
___ 1. students have a say in class activities and tests.
___ 2. I help students to explore, build, and connect
their ideas.
___ 3. students share their ideas and views with each
other and me.
___ 4. students can relate new terms and concepts to
events in their lives
___ 5. students work in small groups or teams when
solving problems.
___ 6. students use computers to help them organize
and try out their ideas.
___ 7. I give hints and clues for solving problems but do
not give away the answers.

Teacher Self-Assessment for

active learning. (Bonk, 1995)
In my classes...
___ 8. I relate new information or problems to what
students have already learned.
___ 9. students prepare answers with a partner or team
b/4 sharing ideas with the class.
___ 10. I ask questions that have more than one answer.
___ 11. students take sides and debate issues and
___ 12. students develop ideas from a variety of library
and electronic resources.
___ 13. students bring in information that extends across
subject areas or links topics.
___ 14. students suggest possible problems and tasks.
___ 15. I provide diagrams or pictures of main ideas to
make confusing info clearer.

SCALCO (Bonk & Wisher, 2000)

The online forum offered multiple perspectives.
I received useful mentoring and feedback from
I liked collaborating with others online.
I had a voice within the discussion forum.
I could count on others to reply to my needs.

Four Key Hats of Instructors:

Technicaldo students have basics? Does
their equipment work? Passwords work?
ManagerialDo students understand the
assignments and course structure?
PedagogicalHow are students interacting,
summarizing, debating, thinking?
SocialWhat is the general tone? Is there
a human side to this course? Joking
Other: firefighter, convener, weaver, tutor, conductor, host, mediator, filter,
editor, facilitator, negotiator, e-police, concierge, marketer, assistant, etc.

Online Learning
From Forrester, Michelle Delio (2000),
Wired News. (Interviewed 40 training
managers and knowledge officers)

1. Motivational Techniques

Motivation Research Highlights


1. Supportive, appropriate challenge, meaningful,

2. Teach goal setting and self-reinforcement.
3. Offer rewards for good/improved performance.
4. Novelty, variety, choice, adaptable to interests.
5. Gamelike, fun, fantasy, curiosity, suspense, active.
6. Higher levels, divergence, dissonance, interact with
7. Allow to create finished products.
8. Provide immediate feedback, advance organizers.
9. Show intensity, enthusiasm, interest, minimize anxiety.
10. Make content personal, concrete, familiar.

Classroom Motivation Tips

(Alexander, class notes, Pintrinch & Schunk, 1996;

Reeve, 1996; Stipek, 1998):

1. Include positive before negative comments.

2. Wish students good effort not good luck.
3. Give flexibility in assignments and due dates.
4. Communicate respect via tasks select and
5. Design interactive and interesting activities.
6. Use coop learning, debates, group
7. Minimize social comparisons and public
8. Use relevant, authentic learning tasks.

More Classroom Motivation Tips

(Alexander, class notes, Pintrinch & Schunk, 1996; Reeve, 1996;

Stipek, 1998):

9. Use optimal difficulty and novelty.

10. Use challenge, curiosity, control, and fantasy.
11. Give challenging but achievable tasks.
12. Create short term/proximal goals & vary goals.
13. Give students diff ways to demo what they know.
14. Encourage students to give and get help.
15. Attrib failure to low effort or ineffective strategy.
(Attrib success to effort or competence)
16. Give poor performing student the role of expert.

150 To Motivate Your Lover

(Raffini, 1996)

1. Ice Breakers (a. treasured objectsdo you have

a treasured object, why is it impt? B. who is like
2. Goal Cards, Goal Notebooks, Expectations (BS
ST and LT objectives and ideas on how to
3. Floating A, Escape Clauses, Volunteer
Assignments (to be used on any assignment
within a day)
4. Self Report Cards, Self Evaluation (make set of
tests available on the Web)

150 To Motivate Your Lover

(Raffini, 1996)

5. Discussion Questions, Issues, Problems

(perhaps answer questions of another team;
talking chips)
6. Team Competitions, Challenges, Puzzles
7. Success contracts and calendars (Guarantee an
A or B if fulfill contract provisions)
8. Positive Statements, Self Reinforcements (Bury
the I cants; save I cans; say I think I can)

150 To Motivate Your Lover

(Raffini, 1996)

9. Celebrations, Praises, Acknowledgements,

Thank Yous, Put-Ups (multicultural days, trips,
class awards, helpers, end of term events)
10. Class Community Building (designated class
Web Site or Class Forum, Portal, Digitized Web
class photo, photo album, class project,
teeshirts, field trips)

150 To Motivate Your Lover

(Raffini, 1996)

11. Democratic Voting, Student Interest Surveys,

Class Opinion Polls
12. Random Acts of Kindness, Service
Learning/Teaching, Volunteerism
13. Change Roles or Status (Random roles, assume
expert roles, switch roles for a day)

ActivitiesMotivational Ice
1. Expectations (flip chart)
2. Self-Disclosures
3. Talking String
4. Visuals
5. Index Card
6. Treasure Hunt
7. Accomplishment Hunt
8. Psychic Massage
9. Have You Ever Been?
10. CR, CT, CL Web

1. (Ice Breaker) Self-Disclosure

Round I: Self-disclosure introductions

Who are you


2. Self-Disclosure Introductions...
Round II. Self-disclosure introductions...
a. Treasured Objects--Take out two items
out of your wallet and describe how
they best represent you (e.g., family
pictures, credit cards, rabbits' feet)
and share.
b. Describe themselves (e.g., "I am a
tightwad," "I am superstitious")
c. State name with an adjective starting
with 1st letter of 1st name (e.g.,
Marvelous Mary.

2. Self-Disclosure Introductions...
Round II. Self-disclosure introductions...
d. Now intro self & also by a nickname
current, past, or potential nickname.
e. Brainstorm a list of questions you
would like to ask the others...(e.g., My
person I most admire is? The best
book I ever read?)
F. Middle name game (state what middle
name is and how you got it).

3. Expectations Charts
What do you expect from this workshop,
what are your goals, what could you
a. Write short and long terms goals down
on goal cards that can be referenced later
b. Write 4-5 expectations for this
c. Expectations Flip Chart: share of 1-2 of

4. Treasure Hunt (Index Cards)

a. Favorite Sports/hobbies/past times (upper
b. Birthplace and Favorite cities to visit (upper
c. Current Job and Classes Taught (lower left)
d. 2 comments, things, or traits about yourself
(e.g., team player, personable, talkative,
opinionated, hate Purdue, like movies, move a
lot, hate sports) (lower right)
e. Teaching strategies you are proud of (in the

4. Treasure Hunts
After completing card with
interests, where born, would
like to live, strengths, job role,
hobbies, etc. and find a match
(find one thing in common and
one thing different with

5. Accomplishment Hunt
a. Turn in 2-3 accomplishments
(e.g., past summer, during college,
during life);
b. Workshop leader lists 1-2 of
those for each student on a sheet
without names.
c. Participants have to ask "Is this
you?" If yes, get a signature.

6. Issues and Discussion

a. Make a list of issues people would
like to discuss.
b. Perhaps everyone brings 2-3
questions or issues to the meeting.
c. Partner off and create a list and
then collect question cards, and,
d. Then distribute and your group
must answer questions of the
other groups.

7. Team Brainteasers
IQ tests
Scrambled cities
Crossword puzzles
Dilemmas or Situations
Unscrambled sayings.

8. Coat of Arms--fill in.

#1: a recent Peak Performance;
#2: something very few people know;
#3: draw a symbol of how you spend
your free time;
#4: fill in something you are really
good at;
#5: write in something that
epitomizes your personal motto.

9. Itll Never Fly Wilbur

a. Introduce a new idea or concept or plan.
b. Everyone writes 4-5 problems they see in it.
c. Divide into groups of 3-4 and discuss
d. Each group writes down 3 roadblocks on a 3
X 5 card.
e. Facilitator redistributes so each group gets a
different card.
f. Subgroups think creatively of how to solve
those problems and share with group.

10. Demographic Groupings

Birthday GroupingNonverbally line up by date
of the year born and partner off with person
closest to you and then do
Auto GroupingGroup by location ones
vehicle was manufactured (US, Asia, Europe)
and then divide into truck and car people,
color of vehicle, etc.
High School SweetheartsGroup by location
where they graduated from high school
(Midwest, South, East, West, Asia, Europe,

11. Talking String

state what hope to gain from
retreat (or discuss some other
issue) as wrap string around
finger; next ones state names
of previous people and then
state their reasons.

12. Disclosure Interviews

Divide into small groups of
about six people and then
hand out prepared list of 5
questions in increasing order
of disclosure for participants
to ask each other and then
have someone stand and their
group must describe him or

13. Psychic Massage

(a closer activity)
a. Divide in teams of 3-5.
b. In alphabetical order of first
names have someone turn his or
back to the group
c. Team members must make
positive, uplifting statements
about that person behind his or
her back but loud enough for
others to hear them.
d. One minute per person.

14. Positive Strokes

a. 2-3 times during the session, each person
fills out a 3 x 5 card about other participants.
b. They must complete sentences like: the
thing I like best about (name) is and the
biggest improvement I saw in (name) is.
c. At the end of the day, the folded cards are
passed out and read aloud and then given to
the named person.

15. Community Building

Create common t-shirts, take
photo of group, have online
interest groups, etc., and
perhaps put up on the Web.
Put announcement of retreat
on Web or newsletter.

16. Communication/Learning
Draw one or more of the following:
high fives,
thumbs up,
smiley face,

16. Personalizing (e.g., asking

how and what questions)
Ask how feel, what has happened, how
might such and such help in the
workforce, ask what-if things were
different at work, and whats next???
How might they do things

18. Have you ever questions:

Performed the Heimlich maneuver

Tried on a straight jacket
Laid down inside a casket,
Drunk more than 25 imported beers during your life,
Ditched a blind date (or any date),
Been a Boy Scout or Girl Scout
Shaved your head,
Flown a plane,
Sky dived, bungee jumped, or whitewater rafted a dangerous
Been in a play,
Milked a goat or a cow,
Done back-to-back all-nighters,
Completed a marathon,
Made an obscene gesture at someone when driving your car,
Cheated on your income tax,
Run a toll booth,
Been above the Arctic circle or below the Antarctic Circle.

The 3 Cs:
1. Critical
2. Creative
3. Cooperative




What is an idea city? Where want

to live? What makes it cool?
Culture, parks, night spots,
scenery, outdoor recreation,
music scene, all-night cafes,
extreme sports, outdoor
Lots of job opportunities
Diversity within the community

What is an idea city? Where want

to live? What makes it cool?
Convenience for amenities
Fun; high energybike lanes,
ultimate frisbee, climbing walls,
urban parks, bistros and cafes not

The Creative Class

Values creativity, value tolerance,
promote individuality, embrace
diversity and differences, open to
immigration, and merit
Are active & participate, not watch
Want: relax dress codes, use flexible
schedules, and new work rules

The Creative Class

Engage in work to create
meaningful new forms (scientists,
engineers, professors, poets,
novelists, actors, entertainers,
architects, analysts, think-tank
researchers, artists, editors,
cultural figures)

Pedagogical Strategies:
A. Creative Thinking
1. Brainstorm, Reverse BS: Top Ten Lists
2. Simulations, Creativity License Cards, Six Hats
3. Wet Inking, Freewriting, or Diaries
4. Role Plays & Assigning Thinking Roles
5. Forced Wrap Arounds
6. Semantic Webbing or Mapping
7. Idea-Spurring Questions, Think Sheets
8. Metaphors, What Ifs, Analogies
9. Checkerboarding, Attribute Listing
10. Exploration and Web Link Suggestions

ActivitiesCreativity Tasks
1. Metaphorical Thinking
2. New Perspectives
3. Webbing
4. Just Suppose
5. Creativity Awareness
6. Creative Dramatics
7. Creative Writing and Story Telling
8. Wet Ink or Freewriting
9. Brainstorming
10. Reverse Brainstorming

1. Metaphorical thinking
how is my school like:
a prison, a beehive, an
orchestra, ghetto,
expedition, garden, family, herd,
artist's palette,
machine, military camp, Olympic
games, hospital, theater, etc.

1. Metaphorical thinking,
1. Creativity is like ____.
2. Being Creative is like ____.
3. Creativity is to ___ as...

1. Synectics
Combining 2 dissimilar ideas. The
joining together of unrelated
elements (William J. J. Gordon).
One brings strange concepts into
familiar areas.
Putting yourself in a situation.
Thinking of how others might solve
the problem.

2. Breaking Mental Set and

Shifting Perspectives
The process of creation frequently
involves a dramatic and usually
instantaneous change in
perception. Sometimes we all need
a whack in the side of the head!
Have students assume roles of
other people, cultures, economies,
genders, etc.

2. Breaking Mental Set and

Shifting Perspectives
Word games; Which one is
different; Nine dot problem;
Flying Pig; Concealed colors.
Analogies, Synectics,
Breaking Set, Imagery,
Aesthetics, etc.

3. Webbing
Directions: write the topic in the
center and link closely related
ideas or questions in the first
ring of ideas. As new ideas are
suggested, they are connected
by a line to the related item or

3. Webbing
Webbing can be used to determine:
(1) all the possible directions and activities a
student or class can explore as a result of
interest in a specific topic or subject
(2) all that is presently known, and
(3) knowledge interrelationships.
This technique expands awareness for
relating, integrating, and organizing
brainstormed ideas.

3. Webbing
a. Part I: What is creativity,
critical thinking, cooperative
b. Part II: What is active
learning (i.e., students:)
(discover, drawn upon, break
free from, use, take
ownership, talk, write, relate)

4. Just Suppose or What If

Imagine a situation or scenario
and reflect on the consequences.
Just suppose you have six
weeks of paid professional
development each summer for
workshops or classes like this,
what would teaching be like?
What would learning be like?

5. Creativity Awareness:
Creativity Scales
Self-awareness of creative
traits is important in
promoting creativity.
Rate yourself for creativity.
What is creativity here? How
did you do?

5. Creativity Awareness:
Creativity Models

von Oech's

6. Creative Dramatics
Biggest/smallest thing; Holding up the roof;
Favorite animal; Mirror effect; Imagine
More Creative Dramatics (Davis book)
Imagine taste/smell... Ice Cubes, Puppets,
Mirror effect, Ridiculous Poses, Favorite
animal, People Machines, Invisible Balls.
Imagine hear, touch, smell, tastes,
stiffest/most rubbery, Angriest/happiest.

7. Creative Writing or Story

Tell a Tall Tale:
One person starts a story and everyone adds something
to it. You might throw a ball to the person who is to add
to it or the instructor might decide or the next person
could just jump in. Could be done via e-mail.

Forced Wrap Arounds:

One person tells a story and it is repeated until it gets
through a group or classroom (teaches generative and
constructive psychology principles)

Object Obituary:
Write a fictional obituary for some object that you own or
were close to.

8. Wet Ink or Freewriting

Writing without reflecting or lifting your pen
for a set period of time.
Just imagine: imagine you have created a
highly active teaching situation...What do
you see? Can students wonder, question,
speculate, take risks, active listening,
respect for ideas, withhold judgment,
seek justification??? How is creativity
fostered here? Describe environment.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, etc...

9. Brainstorming
Generating ideas to solve a particular
problem, issue, situation, or concern.
Here more is better and the wilder the
better. The hitchhiking or piggybacking
as well as combination of ideas is
encouraged. However, there is no
evaluation of ideas allowed.
For example, How can we increase the
use of active learning ideas in college

10. Reverse Brainstorming

Generating ideas to solve the reverse
of a particular problem, issue,
situation, or concern. Once again,
more is better and the wilder the better.
The hitchhiking or piggybacking as
well as combination of ideas is
encouraged. However, there is no
evaluation of ideas allowed.
For example, How can we decrease the
use of active learning ideas in college

11. Attribute Listing,

Modification, and Transformation
a. Attribute Webbing/Listing: "XYZ"
b. Attribute Modification: "XYZ"--after
listing attributes, think of ways to
improve each.
c. Alternative Uses: Uses for "XYZ" for
this class or for teaching in general.
(find the second best or third best

11. Attribute Listing,

Modification, and Transformation
"XYZ"-transfer ideas from one context to the
(with idea spurring questions: What else
is this like? What have others done?
What else is this like? What could we
copy? What has worked before?)
(What can we borrow from a carnival,
funeral parlor, track meet, wild west)

12. Idea Spurring Questions

how can we:

13. Future Problem Solving

Have students solve in
Present to class.

14. Checkerboarding (done in

Lone Ranger series)
Analyze problems with 2 key
variables or components.
Write features of one item down
the horizontal column (plots).
Write features of another item
down the vertical (characters).
Randomly check off items and a
new create story.

15. Morphological Synthesis

Write features of one item
down the horizontal column.
Write features of another item
down the vertical.
Look at intersection for new
item or concept.