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The Hidden Cost of Active Learning

Thomas Mennella, a flipped classroom active learning university instructor says “I’m tired. I don’t mean end-of-the-semester and need-some-sleep tired. I mean really, weary, bone-deep tired.”

He has guest blogged on flipped learning, published articles, and presented at regional and national conferences. He adds “There are many days when I wish I’d never heard of flipped learning at all — times when I wish I could actually teach another way again.”

Flipped Unsplash

UNESCO's 2021 Technology and Education Global Education Monitoring report highlights the challenges around Open Educational Resources (OER). "Particularly for self-paced and asynchronous online courses, high-quality content is needed. Across the globe, ministries of education and schools develop content in various ways, from purchasing materials to developing their own content." 

Yet Thomas believes that times have changed “Students in my courses now expect, if not demand, that the class be flipped. They recognize the power and effectiveness of active learning and have a little patience for ‘sage on the stage’ passive instruction. Students will take their work far more seriously when they know that it will be thoroughly read, assessed, and graded by the instructor.”

Gone will be the days of instructors arriving to a lecture hall, delivering a 75-minute speech and leaving. Gone will be the days of midterms and finals being the sole forms of assessing students’ learning. For me, these days have already passed, and good riddance.

  Thomas Mennella, Professor of Biology

  Bay Path University (Massachusetts, USA)

He argues that we need to talk about the hidden costs of active learning. With four assignments per student, per week and a class of 86 students adds 3784 assignments to grade every semester! “I’m honestly not sure how much longer I can keep this up” says Thomas.

Flipped College

We need to recognize the instructors teaching in these innovative ways are doing more, and spending more hours, than their more traditional colleagues. We must except that a failure to recognize in remedy these ‘new normal’ risks burning out a generation of dedicated and passionate instructors.

  Thomas Mennella, Professor of Biology

  Bay Path University (Massachusetts, USA)

Our ‘new normal’ require tools that help teachers spend less hours to create lessons and give feedback in active learning. That’s exactly why NUITEQ Snowflake delivers Active Adaptive Curriculum inside a Hybrid container of the Lesson List that includes all of the resources needed to deliver a lesson in person or in remote learning. This includes not only custom made videos aligned to curriculum standards but also lesson plans, activities and graded assignments, and printable worksheets. These examples help save teachers focus their time in active learning to personalization for the situation and context of their students. 

Teachers can automate assignment feedback by setting the scores that meet and exceed expectations right inside NUITEQ Snowflake. They can also quickly personalize feedback using voice or video to coach students on future topics to explore. 

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