-- the Labyrinth December 1993 --
Interactive Learning Activities
Cinthia Leshin, MCLI
New learning paradigms often emphasize "interactive learning."
Interactive activities focus attention on learning rather than
teaching. Activities are designed to help students use and apply new
information in meaningful or relevant situations. Interactions can
take place between instructor and student, student and student, or
student and media. Many interactive strategies can be adapted to
different classroom settings. Listed are some interactive
technology-based learning activities that you can adapt to your
Subject Matter Experts as Guests
Laserdics, commercial video tapes, taped television shows, and
videoconferences provide a source of teaching and learning resources.
Students can view programs delivered by a subject matter expert and
then be asked to discuss issues presented. Discussion forums might
include panels or debates.
Have students critique papers, art projects, or other assignments
using Maricopa's Electronic Forum, video conference network (VCN), or
your colleges fileserver. Electronic Forum can be used to have
students share their work for feedback anonymously. Arrange for a
videoconference with students from another college to share and
discuss class projects. Use your college's fileserver to exchange
student papers or downloadable projects.
Student as Teacher
Ask students to review a software program, a Hypercard stack, a
computer-based educational program, or any other learning resource.
Ask them to evaluate the program and do a short presentation to the
class on what they learned, liked, disliked, or how to use the
Student as Researcher
Assign students to research a topic using several different resources:
traditional resources (library, books); educational software programs
on the topic (i.e., commercial programs such as MacGlobe or Regard
for the Planet); local college fileserver (if available to students);
and the Internet. Have them report on what they have found; how they
accessed these resources; if they found them to be helpful; what
suggestions they might have; what they learned; and whatever else may
be relevant to your class.
Present the student with a case study of a real world problem. Provide
them information on how to access several technology resources where
they can find information on the topic. Ask them to research the
topic, come up with the solution, and present to the class. This
could also be done with groups.
If you are using a laserdisc or a computer-based program for a
classroom presentation, provide opportunities for students to view
and use the disc or program. Create an activity where they must
interact with the media to find information and write a report or
produce a product. For example, use a program that simulates a
science experiment. Design a lab report that students must complete
based on the simulation.
Trigger videos are very short video segments (1-5 minutes long). Ask
students, working in small groups, to view the situation, identify
the problem, identify different courses of action, and then make
Alternative Learning Environments
Consider an electronic conference on a topic of interest. Ask an
expert in a field to host this electronic discussion. Students can
research the topic or read a paper or book written by the guest
scholar. When they become familiar with the subject then they can
participate in an interactive dialogue with the expert and other
students who are participating in the conference. This can be done
through Electronic Forum.
Student Design and Development of an Instructional Technology
Ask students to work in small groups and develop a short instructional
program using at least one technology: video, laserdisc, HyperCard
stack, program found on the Internet.
Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction (MCLI)
The Internet Connection at MCLI is Alan Levine
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