Active Learning Blog

Colin Montpetit

Colin holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Physiology and is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University of Ottawa.

Recent Posts

Mar 17, 2015 9:52:00 AM by Colin Montpetit

Enhancing Teaching and Learning: Learning Fearlessly Part 3


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Mar 10, 2015 8:00:00 AM by Colin Montpetit

Learning Fearlessly Part 2

Undeniably, research on the benefits of using student response systems has shown that their strategic use supports active learning approaches in a wide variety of learning environments. The use of LectureTools and its various features facilitates anonymous student answers and enhanced communication with the professor. The types of questions an educator can use to engage students in classroom activities is not only consistent with the notion of this support, it also enhances and provides many more unique opportunities for student learning. In addition to the factors that contribute to the high participation rates (~90-99% per class basis) in my classroom, low-stakes participation and the low cost associated with gaining access to LectureTools through institutional support were are also deemed highly important in terms of engagement in my classroom.

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Mar 4, 2015 7:45:00 AM by Colin Montpetit

Student Success: Learning Fearlessly Part 1


While student response systems (SRS) have been around well over a decade, it is not until recently that I have started taking advantage of their pedagogical benefits. In the span of time since my first implementation of SRS-associated peer-instruction approaches (4 years ago), SRS technology has greatly evolved from hand held clickers (with analogue transmission and antenna reception) to Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) cloud-based classroom interaction systems. Undeniably, the evolution of cloud-based SRSs such LectureTools has opened the door to teaching and learning approaches that were previously not possible to implement or were limiting in nature. For example, the ability to ask questions using varying types of formats, including short answer questions, image quizzes, ordering, in addition to multiple choice questions via cloud-based systems support the efforts of educators to enhance the classroom experience. Additionally, built-in features such as “ask an anonymous question” and the “confused flag”, give students additional opportunities to communicate with their professor during class time. There are yet other features that empower professors to build a stronger learning community by creating seamless links between students and the professor.

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