Proposal Title

Not all learning activities are created equal - productive failure in the classroom

Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A 117

Start Date

7-7-2017 1:40 PM

Keywords

productive failure, direct instruction, in-class activities, flipped classroom

Primary Threads

Teaching and Learning Science

Abstract

Many educators in STEM disciplines are incorporating active learning strategies and in-class activities into their lesson plans. Not all in-class activities, however, are created equal. Successful learning activities promote student engagement; model positive learning habits; encourage persistence, creativity and collaboration; and provide an authentic learning experience. At the University of British Columbia in a first-year cell biology course, we investigated best practices for in-class activities by employing two design principles, Direct Instructions (DI) (Hattie. 2009), and Productive Failure (PF) (Kapur, 2015). While DI design follows a traditional approach by providing instruction prior to problem solving, the PF model initiates the problem-solving phase of the activity and the instructional phase follows. The Productive Failure (PF) design model has been found to trigger students’ prior knowledge, optimize creativity and promote better long term learning. Our data suggest that student learning and long-term retention is optimized in a PF model. In this session, we will define and discuss the benefits and pitfalls of DI versus PF approaches for learning activities and consider whether higher levels of student engagement and learning may arise due to the design principles or may be topic-dependent.

Elements of Engagement

Engagement will involve some short break out groups (turn to your neighbours) and large group discussions. I will pose some provocative questions and statements to provide attendees with a starting point. We will end with participants thinking of how they might incorporate productive failure into their own classroom.

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Jul 7th, 1:40 PM

Not all learning activities are created equal - productive failure in the classroom

P&A 117

Many educators in STEM disciplines are incorporating active learning strategies and in-class activities into their lesson plans. Not all in-class activities, however, are created equal. Successful learning activities promote student engagement; model positive learning habits; encourage persistence, creativity and collaboration; and provide an authentic learning experience. At the University of British Columbia in a first-year cell biology course, we investigated best practices for in-class activities by employing two design principles, Direct Instructions (DI) (Hattie. 2009), and Productive Failure (PF) (Kapur, 2015). While DI design follows a traditional approach by providing instruction prior to problem solving, the PF model initiates the problem-solving phase of the activity and the instructional phase follows. The Productive Failure (PF) design model has been found to trigger students’ prior knowledge, optimize creativity and promote better long term learning. Our data suggest that student learning and long-term retention is optimized in a PF model. In this session, we will define and discuss the benefits and pitfalls of DI versus PF approaches for learning activities and consider whether higher levels of student engagement and learning may arise due to the design principles or may be topic-dependent.