Learning with consequence #activelearning

Evening walk following the campfire session

It’s the Global Festival of Active Learning this week. Our secret question in the organising group is ‘so how do we make this a festival and not a conference?’ It’s got to be about people and attitude. Just feeling good with each other!

It’s really put me in a reflective mood. All sorts of ideas buzzing around my head on the back of conversations. So, having been for an evening walk after my campfire conversation, and enjoyed another fantastic April sunset, it occurs to me that we focus on the action when we talk about active learning, but of course it’s much more useful to focus on the consequence – for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Leaving the word opposite to one side for a moment, let’s just note that the AL teacher needs to think about the intended reaction of their activity.

One answer is the student’s reflection. So for me this evening I am reflecting on the nightmare I’m having with technology this week. I can hardly work. Everything is on a wing and a prayer, so when I turned up for my session I couldn’t run my PowerPoint. I really needed those graphics to talk about Unified Active Learning. Very conceptual stuff!

Well, of course, all you need really is experienced people ready to enter into a conversation (‘experienced’ here is a redundant word – all you need is people!). And some decent questions.

So I led our conversation. It was ‘my’ session/workshop. But a successful conversation is one that has parity. I loved listening to people talking about their practice. Whatever I may have had planned, it was the stimulating examples of practice that I will take away. All I did was to bring some really interesting people together. Thank you for getting me thinking and reflecting on my sunset walk – the consequence of a good session in which I played just my part.

What about ‘opposite’ reaction? Is it the to and fro of conversation, how we reflect back, contradict, challenge, echo, find complementary anecdotes and examples?


About Andrew Middleton

NTF, PFHEA, committed to active learning, co-operative pedagogies, media-enhanced teaching and learning, authentic learning, postdigital learning spaces. Key publication: Middleton, A. (2018). Reimagining Spaces for Learning in Higher Education. Palgrave.
This entry was posted in Active Learning, Co-operative pedagogy, Learner Engagement, Walking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Learning with consequence #activelearning

  1. Sometimes I think technology is a hindrance for our natural storytelling talents. Your post made me think About the PowerVoice or PowerProcess. Next ruskin module open studio is about conversations: phone calls, letter and dessert island discs

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