Educause defines active learning as a learner-centered technique where “learners practice and receive feedback from peers and experts” on real-world problems.
The University of Minnesota defines an active learning classroom as an area to “foster interactive, flexible, student-centered learning experiences.”
9 Techniques for Engaging Students
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
Poll Everywhere: Interact with your class by posing specific questions relevant to your lesson. Students can text in their answers to participate. Pace University’s Poll Everywhere license allows you to embed polls directly into your PowerPoint presentations.
Progress Check: At the end of each class period, or at a natural stopping point in class activities, take a minute to assess retention. Encourage your students to specify any unclear points from the course material to ensure understanding after each class.
Buddy System: Put students in groups to discuss their views on a topic before presenting them to the rest of the course. This will stimulate conversation about the course material.
Pre-class Testing: Get a clear picture of where your students are at the outset of the semester. Require students to take a pre-class quiz on Blackboard to assess where they are in the course.
Prep-work: Assign students a Lynda.com playlist to view before class, so they can come to class with prior knowledge of the course material.
Guest Lecturer: Invite a guest with related experience to meet with your students in person or via web conferencing.
Pre-record Mini Lessons: Free up your class time by pre-recoding a lecture with ECHO 360 that your students can watch before coming to class.
Video Discussions: Start a discussion forum using Blackboard and ask students to respond with their webcams.
Virtual Review Sessions: Schedule virtual office hours and review sessions. Encourage students to study course material outside of the classroom by acting as a facilitator in Blackboard.
Active Learning at Pace University
Group Work Mode
Flexible furniture arrangement allows for collaboration.
Increases student participation, engagement, and performance.
Why Use an Active Learning Environment?
Interactive lessons are more memorable for students.
When engagement in the classroom increases, retention will also increase.
Breaking up long lectures with short activities will keep students focused on the course material.
If you are interested in scheduling an active learning environment for one or more of your classes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Does The Research Say?
Interactive lessons are more memorable for students
According to a study published in Educause Review, students retain knowledge when they are “actively engaged in their learning process and when they are required to apply what they have learned.” Active learning strategies “increase the likelihood of information and concept retention because students are focusing more attention on the application of knowledge and have more opportunities for real-time feedback within formal learning sessions."
Breaking up long lectures with short activities will keep students focused on course material
The National Teaching and Learning Forum proves that “a series of mini-lectures with active engagement components, all scheduled in 15- to 20-minute segments, can keep students and faculty more alert, engaged, and productive for an entire 50 or 75 minutes of class time.”
When engagement in the classroom increases, retention will also increase
According to the Journal of Developmental Education, “peer interactions and associations influence students’ cognitive development, self-confidence, and motivation.” It is recommended that universities “give careful attention to course planning, design, delivery, and assessment of learning and initiatives to increase teaching effectiveness” so that students will remain engaged and enrolled.
Group work mode allows for collaboration, increases student participation, engagement, and performance
In a study published in Educause Review, faculty participants “reported an improvement in class discussion and participation” as a result of active learning strategies. It was stated that “students did better than they have ever done in class.” The students were surveyed to gauge the effectiveness of the learning strategies. Results were shown to be “overwhelmingly positive.” The study also proved that audience response systems “fostered engagement in the classroom”, since over 80% of students surveyed thought the system was effective in improving participation, group discussion, assessing knowledge, and reinforcing course material.
Request a Poll Everywhere Account and get started.
Poll Everywhere FAQs
How do I get an account?
Create a Help Desk ticket at help.pace.edu Information Technology > Educational Media > Poll Everywhere.
Don't my students need to get registered for me to be able to tally responses by student?
Once you are logged into Poll Everywhere, all you need to do is add your students as participants. When you click on the “participants” tab on the top left, there will be an orange button called “Add Participants.” A URL will generate for you to send to everyone in your class. Once your students click the link, they will see the same account creation screen you did.
How do I grade the poll responses?
Once all your participants are in, you can generate grades from the “Reports tab,” by adding their responses to each poll to a generic report. Once the generic report is generated, you can choose to have them graded. Choose the “report card” option and make sure all participant data is checked via the radio buttons on the left side of the screen. To ensure proper grading, focus on using Polls can be programed with a correct answer (ex. Multiple Choice, True/False, Clickable Image), and limit participants to only 1 response.
I have been using a free account under a gmail password. Is there any way I can import those polls or combine these accounts?
When making your account creation Help Desk ticket, include the email address that you previously used to sign in. This will let Ed Media know to create the account with your old email address. All the old polls and data will still be under that username.
It is also possible to change your email address once you are in the system.
What if I bring my own laptop into class to teach? How can I get the Poll Everywhere Presenter App?
They can download the free Poll Everywhere presenter app here: http://www.polleverywhere.com/app.
Is there any functionality that would be useful for online courses?
We suggest using the following process. At the end of each weekly topic, create a few key questions about the concepts. Provide a close date and time for the poll. At the end of the poll, collected responses and share with students (in a discussion forum). Encourage students to volunteer explanation of correct response and discuss the situation. – Regis College: http://rhchp.regis.edu/FacultyResourceSite/pdfs/polleverywhere_online.pdf
Can student groups use this? How would they go about it?
Yes, they would need to request an account with Ed Media if they want to create their own polls. They can also use it to review course material.
Poll Everywhere suggests that students get to work in small groups or alone to solve the problem and answer the poll. If they’ve done the groundwork and understood the content, they respond correctly and get a lecture point. If they’re having trouble, they get to try again at home, after class.
Step 1: Post the content of your lectures online as a video or PDF. Instruct students to watch the video and then practice solving introductory problems.
Step 2: When class begins, present another introductory problem as a multiple choice poll. Allow students to work out their answers in small groups, if necessary. Watch results roll in.
Step 3: Reveal the correct response. If you see the need, help students understand where they went wrong, and how to attack the problem in a more productive way.
i>clicker is an audience response system that allows students to instantly give feedback or answers to questions asked by the instructor. This is similar to what the audience uses in “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” to help the contestant. In our case the technology is being applied in a learning environment. The Educational Media Center offices at the campuses in NYC and Pleasantville have been working with faculty to test and implement i>clickers in the learning environment.
If you want to learn more about this product or to schedule a training session for i>clickers, contact your local Educational Media Center Ed Media Center (see contact info below).
How many i>clickers do we have?
NYC: One set of 30 i>clickers and one set of 50 i>clickers PLV: Three sets with 30 i>clickers each
If you want to learn more about this product or to schedule a training session for i>clickers, contact your local Educational Media Center Ed Media Center:
Ed Media Center (New York City) 212-346-1583
Ed Media Center (Pleasantville) 914-773-3338
Lecture Capture: Echo360
Echo360 is a Lecture Capture based blended learning solution designed to enhance instruction, promote student-teacher interaction, and boost student learning outcomes. Automated and easy to use, Echo360 captures the teaching already occurring in your classroom and turn it into a digital format ready for students to review and use in their studies. Echo360 also has a Personal Capture software allowing instructors to record content from their home or office which has resulted in much more flexible and innovative teaching methods such as the growing use of the "Flipped classroom" approach at Pace and most Higher Ed institutions.
For more information on Echo360, click here to visit their website.
To download Echo360, please review the tutorial below entitled "Embedding an Echo360 Video in Blackboard." Please contact your Ed Media Office, should you need any assistance with downloading the software, training, or logging into the Echo360 system.
To install the latest version of Echo360 on your computer:
Follow these steps to embed an Echo360 video into your Blackboard course.
How do I get Echo 360 on my computer?
Create a Help Desk ticket with Ed Media to install the program
How do I create a recording with Echo 360?
Click the start menu on your computer and type "Echo 360" to get started.
Where does my Echo recording go?
You can choose which Blackboard course shell you would like your recording to appear in. You will also receive an email with a URL to your recording.
How do I stop recording?
Right click the Echo icon in the lower right hand side of your screen and click "stop recording".
Interactive Whiteboards display the contents of a PC screen directly onto the board. They are available in select classrooms across all campuses. Here is some information about two types of interactive whiteboards we have at Pace.
Up to three users can simultaneously use the interactive features and manipulate the classroom desktop. Hand gesture recognition software allows users to perform tasks like copying, pasting, scrolling, and zooming all with the swipe of a finger. Panaboard notebook software allows users to write on the interactive board as well as save notes, annotations, screenshots etc.
The Da-Lite IDEA (Interactive Dry Erase Application) Board
Can be utilized as an interactive whiteboard as well as a dry-erase board. Looks and functions like a traditional dry-erase board. Anti-gloss material allows for projection and collaboration.
ITS keeps an updated list of all the technologies available in each classroom across our three main campuses. Click here to learn more!
EndNote is a reference management tool that allows you to maintain a library of references and automatically insert citations into Microsoft Word. EndNote is available for Windows and Mac. You can download a licensed copy by going to ADAM.
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E-mail: email@example.com to ask a question or to make an appointment. Help Desk: 914-773-3333.