Active marketing for active learning

From my faculty inbox:

Dear Katharine,

The traditional lecture model is no longer the most efficient way for teachers to impart knowledge to students. With Wi-Fi, smartphones and laptops providing an endless supply of distractions, savvy educators must rely on new teaching methods for classroom engagement.

Our new Active Learning Handbook highlights how using active learning techniques can result in higher student engagement, improved grades and a lower dropout rate.

“Active learning techniques,” apparently, do not include active banning of smartphones and laptops, nor do they include old methods like active calling on students, active class discussions, and active writing assignments that require active listening to lectures.

2 thoughts on “Active marketing for active learning

  1. Calling on students and classroom discussions are definitely included in the active learning repertoire. If the handbook does not discuss them in detail, it is a very poorly written handbook.

    Banning of laptops and cellphones is orthogonal to active learning—you can combine it with either traditional or active-learning techniques.


  2. I’ve been away from teaching freshman English for two years … and in that time alone everything seems to have changed.

    We had the fall training on Friday, and it’s just assumed now that everyone has a laptop, that everyone brings the laptop to classroom, and that everyone types papers on a laptop and submits them by email.

    Just two years ago, a lot of my students didn’t have laptops, and didn’t type papers.

    Seems strange things would have changed that much in two school years.


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