We’ve embedded active learning across our curricula, and formalised it through a model we’ve named “DEAR”, which stands for “Discover, Explore, Apply, Reflect”
What is active learning?
We view active learning as any activity that involves all students and that:
- requires thinking that is directed toward the attainment of learning outcomes, developing generic learning skills or attitudes;
- requires the use of principles or understanding of content to solve a problem or provide a solution
- becomes progressively more complex and similar to real-life graduate scenarios and challenges
How we implement active learning
Our students are active participants, our classrooms are loud energized spaces with different activities happening occurring almost every ten minutes. Our students are engaging with our content, refining their skills, asking questions and always striving to be better learners.
Stage 1: “Discover”
We incorporate activities even before our students enter the classroom. We encourage student inquiry by presenting core concepts pre-class, preparing them to explore them in greater depth and enabling constructive discussion with their peers and contributing to an active learning environment.
In order to focus on core concepts and skill development, and for class discussions to move beyond terminology definitions and simple concepts, some content will routinely be presented to students up-front (i.e. pre-class).
Stage 2: “Explore”
Students spend two hours in interactive lectures. Long gone are the days of sitting in a lecture theatre and silently listening to the academic. Instead, students are taught to be active participants in these interactive sessions, following on from their preparation before their class.
Stage 3: “Apply”
It’s not enough for students to learn concepts, in order to ensure that students are aware of how their skills work in practice, students are a part of engaging workshops and hands-on laboratories, sessions that challenge students to apply their previously learnt skills in scenarios they may face in their future, whether it be a clinical, business or social environment.
Stage 4: “Reflect”
Students need to be their own drivers wherever they can. At the end of each week, students upload their skills development learnings from their workshop activities and use those findings to write their own personalised learning plan as part of their e-Portfolio. These activities based on the concepts of reflection and feedback then feed into their coaching sessions with their dedicated skills coaches.