Practical Tips for Active Learning in Large Scale Classrooms

Des Moines, IA US
January 30, 2014

Series Description

We complain that students don’t come to class anymore. Our students complain that attending lectures is not a productive use of their time. Our accreditation bodies stress the importance of active learning and ensuring that our students become life-long learners. Educational experts have told us that a lecture by a “sage on the stage” is neither active learning nor good pedagogy. At our conferences and through the media we hear about colleagues that use flipped classrooms to promote active learning and increase student performance and attendance.  

We have heard the hype, but what is the reality? We are now beginning to explore, at different levels of application, subtle and major differences in approaches to active and engaged learning.

This webcast series will provide a framework for understanding and distinguishing between the various definitions and perspectives on active and engaged learning and will detail specific practical applications in the modern classroom. 

Webinar Description

The one hour lecture remains the traditional unit of medical education, particularly for the foundational sciences. A number of factors contribute to the preeminence of the lecture: it is an efficient way to accomplish the goal of knowledge transfer to the student, it is the easiest and most familiar format for students and faculty, and is the most economically feasible mechanism for the college to accomplish its teaching goals. However, it is generally agreed that most lectures limit engagement and therefore promote only "passive" learning and do not promote long-term retention. Medical educators have thus been investigating techniques to promote active learning, which promotes longer term retention and deeper understanding of scientific concepts. In active learning, the student often participates as a partner in the teaching and learning of the group as a whole.

A variety of active learning techniques have emerged as a way to expand the boundaries of learning within the confines of the traditional large group setting.

In this IAMSE web audio seminar we will discuss the learning principles behind active learning and reasons for incorporating these concepts in their large group teaching. The session will then demonstrate environmental and psychological factors that influence learning and enable participants to develop techniques to use these factors to increase learning and retention. Finally, classroom techniques that can increase engagement, learning and retention in both traditional lecture and flipped settings will be discussed.

Target Audience

DMU faculty and staff.


Kathryn Huggett and William Jeffries

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
01/30/2014 - 11:00am CST
Event ends: 
01/30/2014 - 12:00pm CST
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States

Available Credit

  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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