In the past, most university classes tended to be teacher-centered. However, nowadays, the paradigm is shifting to a student-centered classroom in a knowledge-based society. The central concept of a learner-centered classroom is “active learning,” which includes problem solving, project-based learning, and flipped learning. In this paper, some of these activities and methods related to developmental education are discussed.
The objective of this study is to determine whether cooperative learning in classes consisting of a small number of first-year college students produces an increase in their writing abilities. I attempted to determine this based on a class using Active Learning, in which cooperative learning is possible. As a result of analyzing the class, it was observed that there was an increase in their expressive writing abilities through Active Learning. Further, it can be inferred that being allowed to learn in a relatively free learning environment is an important requisite to cooperative learning.
The main purpose of this article is to describe how active learning has been practiced in the global learning context of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), which has a student population from approximately 80 countries. More specifically, we focus on various learning opportunities and settings at APU, including first-year education, career education, overseas educational programs, and large class management. Then, we examine 1) purposes of implementing active learning teaching methods, 2) practical methods of active learning, 3) issues and difficulties of implementing active learning, 4) efforts taken to address those difficulties and observed improvements, and 5) connections between active learning and global education. In the last section, we discuss issues and offer suggestions to better implement active learning in global education.
This study reports on the use and effects of a medical-themed film in English classes for low proficiency nursing majors. Many low proficiency EFL learners lack motivation to study English, so it is highly desirable that teachers in charge of those students develop ways to successfully motivate them. In view of the great interest that nursing students show in their chosen field, the use of a medical-themed film was deemed potentially useful to motivate them further in their study of both language and nursing. Thus, in order to explore such a possibility, a variety of medical-themed films were examined and course materials were developed based upon one such film, “Awakenings,” in which a doctor uses a then-experimental drug to “awaken” patients who have been catatonic for decades. The film was considered suitable for them in that nurses play substantial roles in it. An experiment was conducted utilizing an ESP approach, to verify the effectiveness of the course material. The results revealed that the use of a medical-themed film was highly effective in motivating learners, but no significant improvement was observed in regard to their listening abilities. The implications of the findings are also discussed.
In this study, we investigated approaches for improving chemical calculation ability by comparing the results of placement tests, follow-up tests, and regular exams for General Chemistry and for General Chemistry Practice. The subjects consisted of a total of 293 freshmen students in academic year 2014 who were enrolled in General Chemistry Practice, and analysis was performed by dividing students into those who took (n=113) and those who did not take (n=180) remedial classes. The items analyzed were “definition of concentration”, “preparation of a dilute solution”, and “molality”. A statistical comparison of correct response rates for each item between the students who took remedial classes and those who did not take remedial classes showed no significant intergroup differences for “definition of concentration” in General Chemistry or “molality” in General Chemistry Practice. Furthermore, a statistical comparison of correct response rates for each item between placement tests and regular exams for General Chemistry and between placement tests and regular exams for General Chemistry Practice revealed markedly higher correct response rates on the regular exams for General Chemistry and General Chemistry Practice in both groups. The results of a questionnaire survey conducted on remedial classes indicated that remedial classes also contribute to increased motivation toward future learning.