Active learning activities keep BSC students engaged

Published 3:28 pm Monday, November 10, 2014


BSC Tech Algebra Trigonometry students learn how to configure the most area and perimeter of a space through an active learning activity. — Submitted

By Susanne Reynolds

Bainbridge State College students are getting out of the classroom and learning how to apply classroom skills to real life scenarios.

Students in Professor Sheila McLendon’s Tech 1130 Algebra Trigonometry class are being taught their math skills outside of the classroom with active learning activities, which help in keeping them engaged in learning rather than simply memorizing information for a test.

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“We are trying to get students to apply these skills, not just memorize the information,” said McLendon.

The instructor has set her class up to study the information outside of the classroom by taking the information and making it applicable in class. According to McLendon, it helps the students grasp the concept more efficiently.

It also helps with student retention. McLendon noted that since incorporating activities, one hundred percent of the students in the class have been attending.

Last Monday, her Tech 1130 class collaborated in a group active learning activity involving area and perimeter. They used toilet paper and painter’s tape to lay out a configuration on the gym floor to assess the space with the most area and perimeter.

This active style of learning holds many benefits for the students, which include real life scenarios.

“This form of learning will help students see the uses for area and perimeter, such as buying paint for their houses or laying floor covering. If the students can see a reason to learn it, they will want to learn it,” said McLendon.

It also helps the instructors assess the student’s knowledge of the material.

McLendon added, “I can assess how they are learning the material better and know what they understand the most. This active style of learning helps make the information ‘click’ in their minds and not just memorize it.”

For McLendon, she wants the students in her classes to adopt a lifelong love of learning.

She said, “Math is one of the most disliked subjects and if we can find ways to make it enjoyable for students, they will like it more.  By incorporating active learning into their knowledge, they are able to make it their own and have it for a lifetime.”