Reflections on Active Learning from a Teacher's Perspective by Tetiana Vasylenko (UM)

Get insights into active learning by reading our latest INOTLES Working Paper by Tetiana Vasylenko:

Vasylenko Tetiana. 2017. 'Active Learning from a Teacher's Perspective - What Hurdles Could Arrise?' INOTLES Working Papers, No.4/2017


Problem Based Learning is an active learning pedagogical approach which has gained recognition across different disciplines. Unlike in traditional teaching methods, in PBL, students are owners of their own learning rather than passive recipients of information. Learning process is organized around collaborative problem solving in a small-group setting. As a result, students not only acquire enhanced knowledge of the material but develop relevant practical skills, such as cooperation, problem solving and critical thinking. Yet, PBL also brings certain challenges for staff members in their role as facilitators of this student-centered learning. The aim of this article is to shed light on some of these challenges and possible ways of addressing them, drawing on the existing literature and personal experience of the author as a tutor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Maastricht. The article focuses on the three following challenges: ensuring active participation while keeping a positive classroom atmosphere, managing students’ expectations of a tutor as the main content provider, and experiencing a general feeling of uncertainty as a new PBL instructor.