Advocates of active learning in higher education applaud the use of approaches that encourage student involvement in research and inquiry and state that it is the most effective means of enabling a move away from more traditional (and now less
The benefits of student investigation of wrongful convictions in a higher education setting
Action research reform of a US study abroad programme in Seville, Spain
Eva Infante Mora and Davydd J. Greenwood
CASA-Sevilla is a study abroad programme for US university students with an advanced level of Spanish. In recent years, new patterns of social behaviour among students (mainly the use of technology and low-cost flights) aggravated their difficulties in establishing contacts with the local society, which often resulted in the perpetuation of stereotypes. The programme goals of cultural immersion and language improvement were therefore at risk. Through an action research and a participatory organisational development process, CASA-Sevilla stakeholders carried out a profound reform of the programme, based on the principles of active pedagogy, mentoring and community-engaged learning. This section illustrates this reform process, with its highlights and shadows.
Neda Maghbouleh, Clayton Childress, and Carlos Alamo-Pastrana
Marx's critique of capitalism remains foundational to the university social science curriculum yet little is known about how instructors teach Marx. In post-industrial, service-oriented economies, students are also increasingly disconnected from the conditions of industrial capitalism that animate Marx's analysis. Inspired by the discussion of how a piece of wood becomes a table in Marx's Capital Vol. 1., 'Our Table Factory, Inc.' simulates a diverse array of roles in the chain of production into and out of a table factory to understand key concepts: means/mode of production, use/exchange value, primitive accumulation wage/surplus labour, proletariat, bourgeoisie, alienation, false consciousness, commodity fetishism and communist revolution. We describe the exercise and present qualitative and quantitative assessment data from introductory sociology undergraduates across three small teaching-intensive universities in the United States. Findings detail the exercise's efficacy in fostering retention of material and in facilitating critical engagement with issues of inequality.
Penny Welch and Susan Wright
videos in political science, peer dialogue in education studies, polarisation anxiety among social science students and active learning in criminology. In the first article, Regnar Kristensen explores serendipity in research and teaching. He describes
Eva Infante Mora, Davydd J. Greenwood, and Melina Ivanchikova
This special issue is devoted to a study of an action research-based reform of a US university study abroad programme to make it a genuine intercultural immersion experience. The four-year collaborative reform process combined participatory organisational redesign, the development of a comprehensive active learning approach and the teaching of intercultural competence through ethnographic immersion and community engagement in Seville, Spain. The case is an example of the development of intercultural competencies through guided behavioural change, of action research to reform higher education programmes and of active learning combined with formative and summative evaluation. The reader will learn about the experiences of the staff, faculty and mentors in the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA)-Sevilla study abroad programme and those of the sponsoring US universities as they together achieved a fundamental reform of a decades-old study abroad immersion programme. This special issue has many authors because this was a collaborative action-research project with continuous group work and brainstorming. The authors’ names are placed in the sections where the authorship is clear, but, as befits a collaboration, many of the ideas are the result of the combined thinking of all the authors. Authorship of the various sections has been allocated mainly to clarify for readers the most relevant author to contact to learn more about particular dimensions of the process. The guest editors took on the editorial duties on behalf of this larger group.
Eva Infante Mora, Luisa Álvarez-Ossorio Piñero, and Bartolomé Miranda Díaz
This section of the comprehensive account of the action research and pedagogical reform of the CASA-Sevilla study-abroad programme concerns the introduction of community-engaged learning as a way to complement classroom instruction. Some experiential elements were already part of the programme’s previous design (homestays, cultural visits), but they needed to be structured into the curriculum, with clear learning goals and evaluation criteria. In addition, to palliate the obstacles students experienced when trying to establish connections with the local society, service-learning in community organisations was introduced into the core ‘Beyond Stereotypes’ course. This section describes the strategies that were designed to encourage active learning in the homestays, the cultural visits and the participation in community organisations, and the role these elements play in the new programme.
Katie Kirakosian, Virginia McLaurin, and Cary Speck
that utilised lecturing with those that featured some form of active learning found that ‘average examination scores improved by about 6 per cent in active learning sessions, and that students in classes with traditional lecturing were 1.5 times more
Can commercial vendors support creative higher education?
with high-quality interactions among instructors and students. MOOC vendors claimed to be able to replicate ‘active learning’ techniques with online quizzes, chat-room-based peer review and similar techniques. Educators had traditionally assumed that
(2014: 1803) examines its use as an alternative to hand-held clickers. In both instances, the comparisons were positive: Socrative is better; it constitutes progress. Dervan also says that the device is an aspect of active learning, defined broadly as
edit Wikipedia articles, they achieve multiple goals: they gain critical reading skills, shape public knowledge about Israel, and engage in active learning. This article explains how to run a Wikipedia-editing assignment, outlines its pedagogical