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Not all instructors implement active-learning strategies in a way that maximizes student outcomes. One potential explanation for variation in active-learning effectiveness is variation in the teaching knowledge an instructor draws upon. Guided by theoretical frameworks of pedagogical content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, this study investigated the teaching knowledge instructors used in planning, implementing, and reflecting on active-learning lessons in large courses. We used a preinstruction interview, video footage of a target class session, and a postinstruction interview with stimulated recall to elicit the teaching knowledge participants used. We then conducted qualitative content analysis to describe and contrast teaching knowledge employed by instructors implementing active learning that required students to generate their own understandings (i.e., generative instruction) and active learning largely focused on activity and recall (i.e., active instruction). Participants engaging in generative instruction exhibited teaching knowledge distinct from that of participants focused on activity. Those using generative instruction drew on pedagogical knowledge to design lessons focused on students generating reasoning; integrated pedagogical content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge to plan lessons to target student difficulties; and created opportunities to develop new pedagogical content knowledge while teaching. This work generated hypotheses about the teaching knowledge necessary for effective, generative active-learning instruction.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: CBE life sciences education
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A curriculum-centered process of equipping individuals with professional knowledge and skills required to become effective teachers.
A principle that learning is facilitated when the learner receives immediate evaluation of learning performance. The concept also hypothesizes that learning is facilitated when the learner is promptly informed whether a response is correct, and, if incorrect, of the direction of error.
Process in which individuals take the initiative, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying resources for learning, choosing and implementing learning strategies and evaluating learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975)
The study and implementation of techniques and methods for designing computer systems to perform functions normally associated with human intelligence, such as understanding language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, etc.
The concept of new knowledge acquisition through observation and interaction with others.