Some years ago, I had a bad experience: My laptop display was broken and showed black spots and strange color effects. I found a reseller for computer parts who offers a cheap replacement. The problem – I never did change a display!
I checked in YouTube for instructions and found a short video. In this video it was demonstrated how the housing is opened, which cables you have to disconnect, how the new display is screwed on and how everything is reassembled afterwards in 3 minutes. This was the moment when I ordered a new display.
The package with the new display arrived 5 days later. The problem was that I’ve forgotten how to open the housing. I actually thought that I learned from the video how to swap the display. But that wasn’t true: I was passively watching a video and my learning experience was exactly zero.
So, I searched the video again. Step by step I did what they demonstrated – run the video for some seconds, stop it – do what I have seen – and so on. Within 10 minutes the laptop worked again, displaying a beautiful image on the screen.
Two weeks later I was asked by a friend if I could repair his laptop (he had the same brand and a similar model) – the screen was broken too. No problem for me: I ordered the correct replacement, and within 10 minutes I could swap the display. For me it was an easy job: I had done it before. By actively doing it I really learned how it works and how it is done.
What I have learned …
From this experience I personally experienced the difference between active and passive learning. In the next years – I was teaching in a secondary high school – I used what I’ve learned from the exchange of the broken display and started to teach “more actively”. This meant that from then on, the learners had more to do – I got them involved in the learning process and used active learning methods. That was essentially group based learning, project based learning, use of interactive and multimedia-based learning material and assignments, in which the learners had to bring them in actively.
In the 187 global elements of effective flipped learning (Link: https://flr.flglobal.org/the-187-global-elements-of-effective-flipped-learning/, published by the FL Global) you will find the element AS (Active Strategies). It belongs to the group “Group Space” and is described as follows:
Use a variety of active learning strategies ill the group space such as Project Based Leaming, Inquiry, Mastery, Genius Hour, and Peer lnstruction.
The use of active learning methods is explicitly addressed here. The list may only be blessed as a recommendation, since there are significantly more options than those mentioned here. This is the reason why in the guide “Flipped Learning in Adult Education“, developed in the frame of this project, active teaching is given a wide space.
Another issue that should be mentioned is the fact that active learning is listed as an element in the group space. Active learning is also an issue in the individual space, where (for example by watching an interactive video) learning can be done on a certain activity level. This will lead to longer lasting learning results (in the individual space) as well as in the group space.
Hint: If you are not experienced with the term “group space” please have a look here: Group Space