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Seminar on “Facilitating Project Learning to Articulate Students’ Higher Order Thinking”

Return to Distinguished Lecture Series

Higher education institutions are continuously searching for new teaching strategies and ways to help student learn. It is important to understand students’ backgrounds and their attitudes toward both academic and social life in order to engage a group of students. Students’ interaction with peers and immersion within education vary from generation to generation. The educator must acknowledge and utilize these rather than disregard them. Higher education researchers have been researching and implementing strategies to assist students’ social integration. Although many discussions have developed about social media used in education institutions, very limited academic research has been done on interactive tools in learning design. More and more university students are turning to social networking sites to help them build and maintain friendship networks. Alexander (2006) and Hoffman (2010) argued that social media hold great potential for improving teaching and learning through creating student-centered learning, promoting collaboration among students, supporting individualized learning, providing an enjoyable learning experience, and enabling flexible learning schedules. Meltzoff and Metzoff (2007) showed in their experimental studies, that social interactions are essential for learning. They stated that humans have powerful implicit learning mechanisms that are affected by social interaction. Chickering and Gamson (1987) suggested seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. A good teacher does the following: (1) encourages student-faculty contact; (2) encourages cooperation among students; (3) encourages active learning; (4) gives prompt feedback; (5) emphasizes time on task; (6) communicates high expectations, and (7) respects diverse talents and ways of learning. To make a meaningful impact on student learning, it is important that we as faculty understand net generation students’ changing values, needs, behaviors, and the way they learn.

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