|Doing it for themselves (and others): Students producing reusable learning resources for peers and community partners.|
by Barry Ryan
Disengaged and apathetic students are common in many classrooms. Learning to these students is a passive process. One approach to engage students, and enhance the learning experience, is to integrate active learning and generate a student-centred learning environment. In this presentation one example of active learning, aligned to an assessment for learning approach, will be outlined, discussed and experiences shared. In this case study second year biochemistry students produced a group digital video resource to teach their peers, and a community partner, about a biochemical topic that interested them. Encouraging students to become active knowledge producers allowed peers to become a learning resource for each other. The dynamic integration of autonomous learning, when appropriately timed and aligned to the curriculum, can achieve an authentic and inspirational learning experience for all. Motivated students will engage in higher order thinking and will autonomously research, synthesise, analyse, create, edit and ultimately ‘produce’ their own knowledge. Students that engage with this pedagogy were empowered to take ownership of their learning and learnt effectively and efficiently through a unique approach, which is most conducive to their style and required less academic guidance. Empowered students are likely to become engaged students; engaged students are likely to be active “producing” students.
Dr. Barry Ryan is a lecturer in applied biochemistry teaching at Dublin Institute of Technology. He has completed his PG Diploma in Third Level Teaching and Learning, his MSc in Applied eLearning and his MA in Higher Education. His pedagogic research focuses on the effect of feedback, engaging large classes and the integration of novel technology into the teaching and learning environment.