-A learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations. Also know as active learning.
I can not speak for everyone, but I learn best hands on. I found through my experiences in the military, that I need to be shown as well as understand the material. A 2014 study in STEM education examined how technical items were learned best by students interacting with their peers.
"As a whole, when trying to enable better student motivation and learning results, enough space must be given for students' contributions." (Rissanen 2014).
My most vivid memory of active learning in the military was earning, then teaching and grading for the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB). EIB is were Infantry soldiers must complete 34 tasks in three days, most of which are highly technical and require precision (no more than two mistakes through all 34 tasks). EIB candidates will spend multiple hours perfecting these tasks using active learning; cadre and peers readily provide tips and strategies to employ. This task would be nearly impossible without the active learning method..
WATCH one example of the 34 tasks below!
Correlating my military experience to the classroom may seem like a stretch, however when you teach, coach, mentor and train over 1,000 soldiers in a two week period, you see first hand how individuals learn. The statistics will of course not back up my rant, since the attrition rate is typically somewhere near 93%. In my mind I think 7% passing rate is somewhat high, it is that tough.
A 2015 study of a biology class found that we need to "...move to a reduced lecture and increased interactive tutorial/workshop and practical approach to promote student learning and development" (Downs & Wilson 2015).
Downs, C. T., & Wilson, A. (2015). Shifting to active learning: Assessment of a first-year biology course in South Africa. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 27(2), 261-274.
Rissanen, A. J. (2014). Active and peer learning in STEM education strategy. Science Education International, 25(1), 1-7.