• xTalks: Digital Discourses

The xTalks series provides a forum to facilitate awareness, deep understanding and transference of educational innovations at MIT and elsewhere. We hope to foster a community of educators, researchers, and technologists engaged in developing and supporting effective learning experiences through online learning environments and other digital technologies. To sign up for the xTalks mailing list, click here.

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Jeff Gore, Lori Breslow & Steven Hall on Active Learning

Gore, Breslow, Hall

Instruction that requires students to engage cognitively and meaningfully with information results in better learning than instruction where students are exposed to information passively. Although effective active learning does not require peer-to-peer interactions, activities that deeply engage students in co-constructing answers, yield the greatest learning gains.

Active learning can take many forms: working out problems at the blackboard, using the classroom to simulate a professional environment, discussing concept questions in small groups, employing flash cards to gauge understanding, and administering frequent low-stakes quizzes. These techniques engage students and enhance retention.

A panel of MIT faculty members will share their experiences using active learning in the classroom. Lori Breslow, Senior Lecturer, Sloan School of Management; Jeff Gore, Associate Professor, Department of Physics; and Steven Hall, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will discuss how they are implementing these techniques in their teaching.