Changing Students’ Approach to Learning
Kalman, Calvin S.
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In relying solely on lecturing or using some techniques, such as group activities as a bag of tricks “for enhanced teaching”, faculty members do not promote a holistic approach to learning. Ideally, we want to create a learning environment in which students can not only succeed in undergraduate Science and Engineering but also develop critical thinking and other transferrable skills vital for promoting the growth of a modern society. Our group developed an intervention that included certain previously developed strategies with the aim of creating an environment that promotes consolidation of ideas – i.e., a holistic approach to learning. These strategies include the Reflective Writing Tool, the Conceptual-Conflict Collaborative Group activities and the Critique Writing exercises. The in-class collaborative group exercises were designed to produce the learning environment for students to question their alternative personal scientific conceptions. The critique activity was introduced to promote critical examination of the alternatives produced in the collaborative group exercise. It is basically an argumentative essay in which students have to put forward as many possible arguments in favour of all the conceptual viewpoints raised in class and then point out which viewpoint is correct from an experimental point of view. All of these activities have been previously evaluated as stand-alone interventions.
- ICTERC 2013