The Enhanced Lecture: An Effective Classroom Model

By Ray L. Huntington and Shon D. Hopkin

Ray L. Huntington and Shon D. Hopkin, "The Enhanced Lecture: An Effective Classroom Model," Religious Educator 15 no. 2 (2014):115–131. 

The Enhanced Lecture: An Effective Classroom Model

Ray L. Huntington and Shon D. Hopkin

When this article was published, Ray L. Huntington (ray_huntingdon@byu.edu) was a professor of ancient scripture at BYU and Shon D. Hopkin (shon_hopkin@byu.edu) was an assistant professor of ancient scripture at BYU. 

Active learning assists the learner to engage the course materials through reading, writing, talking, listening, and reflecting. 

Cody Bell, © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. 

Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves. [1]

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” [2] Leading students to discover, evaluate, reflect, and act on new information and knowledge is one of the challenges and rewards of teaching, whether teaching at a university, in the seminary or institute classroom, or in Sunday classes. Teaching is especially rewarding when teachers sense they are assisting and guiding students in the learning process. Despite the joy of teaching, however, there are (as every teacher recognizes) challenges and frustrations.        

Learning and Student Passivity

One of the frustrations for some teachers is the lack of student engagement and motivation in the learning process. Another word to describe this challenge is “passivity.” Passive learning occurs when “students take on the role of receptacles of knowledge; that is, they do not directly participate in the learning process.” [3] Granted, there are students who appear disengaged, but are, in fact, carefully attending to the material presented in class. Even so, there are too many students struggling to maintain focused attention during traditional classroom lecturing.

Passivity among students is not surprising, given the number of teachers who rely on the classic “sage on the stage” [4] lecture method for most, if not all of the class. For example, researchers surveying faculty at twenty-four colleges found that 83 percent of the teachers used lecturing as their primary method of instruction. Further, an extensive survey of university professors in the US found that 89 percent of the physical scientists, 81 percent of social scientists, and 61 percent of the humanities faculty used the lecture method as their primary method of teaching. Despite the lower percentage in the humanities, 81 percent of the art historians and 90 percent of the philosophy teachers still lectured for the majority of class time. [5] In short, lecturing continues to be widely used among college professors and probably at other educational levels as well, and for good reasons.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Lecturing

Lecturing can be effective, especially in the hands of a well-prepared, enthusiastic instructor. An organized and thoughtful lecture allows teachers to control the amount of information students receive and to deliver large amounts of information in short spans of time, deciding in advance which information is most pertinent to student learning. Lecturing also allows teachers to present information in a manner not readily available to students that presents little, if any, emotional risks to students and appeals to those who learn by listening. [6] If gospel teachers are prepared, lecturing helps assure that students will be introduced to new ideas and correct doctrines from someone who understands the implications of the concepts and can carefully guide students into more nuanced views of the scriptures.

While lecturing has its upsides, there are weaknesses to this time-honored approach. The most obvious downside to lecturing is the risk of student disengagement during the lecture period. Students who quietly sit through a fifty-minute (or longer) teacher-centered lecture may find it challenging to remain attentive and involved. For instance, one study showed that students in a lecture-based classroom were not attentive about 40 percent of the time, [7] while another study found that students retain 70 percent of the material in the first ten minutes of the lecture, but only 20 percent in the last ten minutes. [8] Similar research found that students readily attended to the lecture material being presented during the first five minutes. However, within ten to twenty minutes into the lecture students experienced boredom and found it difficult to remain attentive. This state continued until the end of the lecture when students were reenergized with the knowledge that the lecture would soon end. [9] As stated earlier, while lecturing may give the instructor more control over the depth and breadth of what is taught, research has demonstrated that lecturing may also lead to student passivity and limited retention and recall of knowledge. [10] Perhaps the greatest weakness to lecturing is the possibility that students will hear the presentation without giving much thought or reflection to what is presented.

In relation to teaching scripture, lecturing may increase the student viewpoint that religious education is simply the acquisition of data—the who, where, and what of the scriptures—without any relevance to the student’s life. This type of learning may become meaningless, since it does not engage the student in an affirmation of the scriptural principles. Among highly motivated students, lecturing may produce gospel learners who can fluidly recite scriptural facts and trivia, but it may also produce students who lack emotional or spiritual connection to those facts.

Consider Leon Solomon and Gertrude Stein’s late-twentieth-century research, in which they concluded that both reading and writing could be done automatically, with little thought on the part of the learner. That is, subjects were able to write English words while otherwise engaged in reading an interesting story. With practice, these subjects were also able to take notes automatically while reading. Afterward, they were unable to recall what they had written, even though they were sure they had written something. [11] Similarly, some students may become “learning automatons” as they listen to their instructor, take notes, or read from a text (such as the scriptures), but they are giving little thought to any of it, and in the end, cannot remember—or worse, even care about—much of what was presented.

What is needed then, to assist students in giving more “cognitive investment” [12] or physical and psychological energy [13] to the material presented to students? What will help them to create that emotional or spiritual connection to the material presented to them in a gospel setting?

A recommended solution would be to insert several short, active learning exercises into the lecture to “promote self-reflection, leading to more integrated, personally meaningful learning.” [14] While active learning is not a new methodology, for some educators it remains a catchphrase lacking concrete, applicable ways to employ it in the classroom, or it is viewed as a chaotic classroom full of student novices sharing meaningless comments, with the teacher acting as an upbeat educational cheerleader.

For those teaching gospel principles professionally or in a volunteer capacity, Church leaders have discussed the importance of students becoming faithful “agents” in the learning process, [15] with Seminaries and Institutes as well as the Come, Follow Me Sunday School curriculum encouraging the use of active participation methods in the classroom. [16]

Active Learning and the Modified Lecture

Active learning is traditionally defined as in-class activities that “involve students doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.” [17] Other definitions of active learning include activities that assist the learner to engage the course materials through “reading, writing, talking, listening, and reflecting, . . . which stands in contrast to standard modes of instruction in which teachers do most of the talking and students are passive.” [18] In a broader sense, active learning can be anything the students do during class time other than passive listening. [19]

Active learning strategies provide students with opportunities to think about the material presented to them and assess what is meaningful and applicable to their life experiences or to their existing knowledge. More to the point, since learning is not a “spectator sport,” students need the opportunity to discuss, reflect, question, and write about the materials presented to them. [20] Consequently, short, active learning exercises inserted during the lecture will provide students with opportunities to engage with the material in a more personal and meaningful way. These activities create “the modified or enhanced lecture,” which is defined as “a series of short mini-lectures punctuated by specific active learning events designed to meet class objectives,” involving “two to three pauses during the lecture to allow students to compare notes or ask questions.” [21] This teaching method retains the benefits of lecturing, while incorporating learning strategies that maximize the effectiveness of increased student participation. There are numerous lecture-enhancing strategies available to teachers who are willing to implement them.

The Benefits of Active Learning

Using a few of these “enhanced lecture activities” during a fifty-minute class will not consume a great deal of time; it may, however, reduce the pace and amount of information normally covered during a teacher-centered lecture. On the upside, giving students an opportunity to reflect and think about the material through writing a short one- to two-minute response paper, reviewing a concept in small groups, or quizzing a person seated next to them about information discussed in class will likely enhance their understanding and retention of the material in ways an additional five to ten minutes of lecturing cannot. The act of reflecting alone or in small discussion groups encourages students to find meaning to new information. Without the opportunity for reflection, students may learn something, but the learning may not have much significance for them. [22] In addition, using these learning activities shifts some of the responsibility for learning from the teacher to the students, provides the students with increased control over what they see as important to learn, and sprinkles the lesson with a change of pace that is helpful in reducing boredom and passivity.           

Besides these benefits, there are other rewards to integrating short, active learning strategies into the lesson plan. For example, researchers found a positive (and statistically significant) relationship between active learning and students’ perceptions of their school’s commitment to their well-being. In other words, short, active learning exercises positively influenced the student’s belief about how much their school was committed to and concerned with their educational success. [23] Further, the use of active learning practices exerts a positive influence on the student’s commitment to their institution and their intent to return to that institution (in the case of college students). [24] That is, instructors who take the time to plan and implement activities designed to involve students in the learning process may be perceived as teachers (and also representatives of their institution) who are committed to their students’ learning.

Finally, active learning has been found to have a positive influence on student social integration. [25] Consider the benefits of encouraging sociality through pairing students for short periods of time in order to have them discuss a concept, compare notes, quiz each other, or solve a problem. Having students work in small groups in which they rely on each other to complete an assignment is an excellent way to capitalize on their social needs. In this social setting, engagement in the learning process is greatly enhanced, since it is done with their peers. [26]

Concerns about Active Learning Methods

Naturally, some teachers have concerns about using active learning in their classrooms. These include worries about limited class time (“How can I use active learning strategies when I have barely enough time to make it through the material I need to cover?”), increased preparation time, the difficulty of using active learning in large or small classes, the challenge of finding and using a variety of active learning strategies, the risk that students will not participate or will waste time during paired or small group activities, the increased risk of incorrect viewpoints being shared and validated, and the belief that active learning is an alternative to, rather than an enhancement of, lecturing. [27]

These concerns, however, may reflect the results of methods which are poorly planned, or when active learning is used as an end rather than as the means to an end. Hopefully, these concerns will not discourage teachers from using this methodology in their classes. For example, do large or small classes pose logistical challenges for active learning? Certainly—dividing students into small groups in large classes requires more time and will likely be more difficult to monitor. However, pairing students in a seminary class in order to search a scripture block, discuss an idea, or collaborate on a two-minute paper will work efficiently in any class size. Although it is possible that some students will waste time when paired with another student, teacher engagement will help most, if not all, paired groups to stay on task, complete the assignment, and enjoy a worthwhile experience.

An additional concern relates to teachers who abandon active learning methods after exploratory efforts. While there are benefits with using the enhanced lecture, those benefits may not be immediate and may not come without student opposition, since some students have become dependent on their teachers for their learning. That is, they expect their instructor to tell them what is important to know and why it is important to know it. As a result, some students may resist, complain, become sullen, or act out [28] when given increased intellectual autonomy and responsibility for their own education through active learning. [29] During times of student pushback, persistence is critical, since students will adjust to the opportunities and benefits these learning exercises provide them and will see them as highly beneficial. Teachers in a religious education setting can assist with this transition by creating a vision for the class—explaining to students why they are using active learning methods, discussing the benefits of that type of learning, and using General Authority statements supporting active participator learning.

Having discussed the rationale for using the enhanced lecture in religious education, the remainder of this paper will offer a number of strategies recommended by the authors, other teachers, and learning experts. [30] Most of these activities can be done in two or three minutes during planned pauses in the lecture. Although many of these activities may seem to fit better in a graded-class environment such as seminary, institute, or a Church university, students in Sunday classes can receive similar benefits as well. In fact, some activities may have even greater results in Sunday class settings because they encourage students to think about the material in new ways, employing behaviors sometimes relegated exclusively to a graded-class setting.

The following learning activities are those that the authors have used in their seminary and institute classes and in religion classes at Brigham Young University. They are recommended since they have proven to assist students in becoming more responsible for their own learning and more actively engaged in the learning process. In short, these activities should be successful in most class settings.

Teachers can create a vision for the class—explaining to students why they are using active learning methods, discussing the benefits,and using General authority statements supporting an enhanced learning environment.

Craig Dimon, © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The Enhanced Lecture: Small Group Work

Grouping students into pairs or larger groups allows them to work collaboratively on a problem, share their views on a topic, and listen to others’ ideas, opinions, and perspectives. Pairing also encourages the less-involved students to participate in an environment seen as less threatening while also encouraging students to be more responsible for their own learning. [31]

Pair and share. In this pairing activity, the teacher poses a question or a problem needing a solution or asks students to think about the most important concept or idea they have learned. After a short time for reflection, students divide into groups of two or three in order to share their ideas with each other. After one or two minutes of discussion, a few of the groups are invited to share their ideas with the class. [32] In a religious education setting, these pairing opportunities can be very helpful in encouraging students to share thoughts about personal application, viewpoints, experiences, or feelings about the concept being discussed. They can also provide time to reason through an idea or doctrine or respond to a scenario requiring application of a gospel principle. Lastly, one of the great benefits of pair and share activities is that every person in the classroom has the opportunity to share their thoughts in a setting that is less intimidating than speaking in front of the entire class. Pairing can take place at the beginning of class, midway through the lecture, or at the end of class.

Collaborative learning groups. Similar to the pair-and-share method, students divide into larger groups of three or four and work cooperatively on a task. For example, the teacher may present a problem or dilemma that requires critical thinking in order to arrive at a solution. Through small group work, the students reach an agreement on a “best solution” to the problem/dilemma. Each group presents their solutions to the class during a brief sharing time. [33]

This activity also works well with an assigned reading task. For instance, after having the learning groups read a specific scripture block (all or part), have them answer questions such as “What does the author want you to know or feel?” “Why do you suppose the author wrote this?” or “What are the key doctrines found in this scripture block, and why are they important?”

Students may appoint a group member to write their responses on a single sheet of paper that is submitted at the end of class or is used by a group spokesman during class sharing time. This three- to five-minute activity gives students an opportunity for increased participation, mindful thinking of the material, and an opportunity for students to be both teacher and learner.

Thirty-Second sharing. This activity is also similar to the pair-and-share activity described above, and is very effective when used as one of the lecture pauses. [34] At any time in the lecture, the teacher may instruct each student to turn to the person seated next to him or her and share one idea, concept, or fact he or she has learned up to that point in the lecture. This one-minute activity (thirty seconds for each student to share) is effective in encouraging attention and involvement. It is also important to call on a few of the groups to share their ideas with the rest of the class, since this act of sharing will alert students that the instructor values the comments made during the sharing activity.

Exam questions. Surprisingly, some students enjoy creating questions for exams and quizzes. Divide students into small groups of two or three and ask them to construct one or two multiple choice, true-false, or essay exam questions based on the lecture material for the day, along with the answers. [35] The questions could be used in a graded or nongraded quiz at the end of class or at the beginning of the next class, while the essay questions could be used as topics for a short writing assignment.

Guided lectures with feedback. Guided lectures help students to improve listening and note-taking skills and to apply the lecture material. After explaining the objectives of the presentation, students are instructed to lay their pencils down and listen attentively to the material presented to them in a ten- to fifteen-minute lecture from the scripture block or the topic at hand. Students are encouraged to identify and remember the most important concepts or ideas, as well as any supporting information. At the conclusion of the lecture, students are given five minutes to write down all they can remember from the presentation. Following the five minutes of note writing, students meet in discussion groups of two or three students to compare, refine their notes, and fill in missing information provided by the other group members. During the group discussions, the instructor may want to move around the classroom to answer questions and assess how students are responding to the activity. An optional activity could also include an open-note quiz at the beginning of the next class, with questions based on the lecture materials the students have captured through this activity. [36]

Notable quotes. After posting a thought-provoking quotation on the blackboard or on a PowerPoint slide, students are given thirty seconds for reflection (How do you feel about the quote? What does the quote mean to you? Do you agree or disagree with the quote? Why or why not?). After the pause time, students meet in small groups to discuss their feelings or insights. At the conclusion of the group discussion, the instructor may call on a few students to share their thinking or have each student submit a short one or two paragraph summary of their reactions to the quotation. [37] Students can engage in a similar activity by responding to artwork, which portrays a scriptural story. Students could be asked to respond to the following questions: “How do you feel about the artwork?” “What was the artist trying to show or emphasize, or what emotions or lessons does the artwork convey?” and ”What are elements from the scriptural story that you see accurately reflected in the artwork?”

Quizzing one another. This simple activity can be done at any time in the lecture. Divide students into pairs and request they each take thirty seconds to test one another on the material just presented to them. This may involve students asking each other questions about the material or having each student explain to the other what they learned. [38]

Breaking it down. After students are divided into groups of three, assign each group one or more verses from the scripture block to be covered for the day. Depending on the size of the class and the scripture block, the teacher may want to assign two or three of the groups the same verse. Instruct each group to highlight the most important words or phrases in their verse and discuss possible meanings. Groups could also discuss what they see as the overall meaning to their passage of scripture. At the end of the discussion time, ask the groups to briefly share their insights with the class. [39]

Rehearsal pairs. This is an excellent exercise to rehearse a concept or idea. After creating pairs, assign one student to be the explainer or demonstrator and another student to be the checker. The explainer/demonstrator explains the concept, idea, or demonstrates how to perform the skill, while the checker verifies the accuracy of the explanation or the performance of the skill. The partners then reverse roles and repeat the activity using the same topic/skill or are given a new topic to explain or a new skill to demonstrate. [40]

The Enhanced Lecture: Written Work

In examining the link between student engagement and writing, one scholar noted, “the relationship between the amount of writing for a course and students’ level of engagement—whether engagement is measured by time spent on the course, or the intellectual challenge it presents, or students’ level of interest in it—is stronger than the relationship between students’ engagement and any other course characteristic.” [41]  When students are given time to write about the course content, they have opportunities to reflect, assess, and think about the material from their own unique perspectives. In other words, learning becomes more personalized and engagement with the course material increases significantly.

Video clips. Short video clips are a good way to supplement, reinforce, or enliven the lecture material. Unfortunately, this visual activity may also promote passivity unless students are given an opportunity to evaluate the video material through discussion or a short writing assignment, in which they answer questions such as “What did you learn from the video?” “What were the main points of the video?” or “Did you agree or disagree with the material presented to you in the video clip? Why or why not?” [42]

Reflection papers. Sometimes called a “personal reaction paper,” this activity invites students to engage in writing that is more exploratory, uncertain, and personal. It encourages students to look for connections between the lecture material or scripture-block and their personal life. Reflection papers invite the writer to “speak back . . . in a musing, questioning and probing way.” [43] Reflection papers can be assigned as homework or can be done at any point in the class presentation. For instance, during one of the planned pauses in the lecture, assign students to write about their feelings on a specific topic or something discussed or read about in class. Reflection papers during the short, planned pauses will typically be only one to two paragraphs in length.

Reading journals. A reading journal requires students to write regular entries each time they complete a reading assignment or attend a class presentation. This type of activity encourages students to reflect and think about their learning experiences. [44] This activity also works well in religious education classes where students write about their feelings, insights, or reactions to an assigned scripture block. The reading journal encourages students to answer questions like “How does the information in this scripture block apply to me?” “What are the key doctrines in this reading?” or “What do I understand or not understand from this reading?” The entries can also include observations, feelings, questions, impressions, or insights. Student journals should be checked periodically to encourage consistent writing and discourage meaningless “catch-up” entries. In a Sunday class environment, time can be given at the beginning of class for students to share something from their entries in a small group setting or to use their entries to ask questions or explain concepts to the class.

Summarize it. This simple exercise can be done at any pause in the lecture and requires students to summarize in a numbered list or in bullet points what they have learned in the lecture. At the conclusion of this writing exercise, the instructor randomly calls on students to share portions of their lists or asks all to submit their list as a graded or nongraded assignment. [45] The value of this short exercise is to move the students from passive listener to active participant.

I Was Surprised” At the conclusion of class, ask students to complete the following statement in a short written exercise: “I was surprised . . .” or “I wonder about . . .?” or “I did not know . . .” This activity encourages students to think about material that surprised them or material that motivated new insights or new questions. [46]

The muddiest point. During one of the lecture pauses or at the end of class, ask students to write down what they understood from the class presentation, and whether there were any “muddy points” they were confused about or couldn’t understand. Have students submit their papers in order for the instructor to identify areas of confusion and needed clarification. [47]

Other Enhanced Lecture Strategies

Note pauses. After fifteen to eighteen minutes of lecturing or presentation, pause for one or two minutes to let students review and compare their notes with someone seated next to them. This short exercise allows students to refine their notes, while also encouraging them to think and reflect about the material. These pauses also break up the class period into shorter chunks of time, while providing a short break for the instructor. The note pauses, or any of the other small group exercises, are critical for maintaining interest and engagement. [48] From the author’s standpoint, this is a very worthwhile and effective learning exercise.

Clarification Pauses. After teaching or explaining a concept or idea in the lecture, stop for a few moments to let students think about the concept or idea, then ask if anyone needs to have the information clarified. While some students are hesitant to ask for clarification, there are others who are not and will provide help in the class as they ask for clarification. [49]

Conclusion

It is no surprise that students learn in a variety of ways. Some are visual learners who enjoy videos, whiteboard notes, images, and PowerPoints, while other students are auditory learners, who favor listening to a teacher or to other students as they present material. Regardless of learning style, there is a place for short, well-planned active learning exercises during pauses in the traditional lecture. Consistently using these activities will provide students with opportunities to assess, reflect, engage, and construct meaning for the material presented to them.

As professional educators, we have tried to shift from traditional lecturing and teacher-centered approaches to a style of teaching that makes room for short, student-centered activities during timed pauses in the lecture, in order to help students engage the course material in a more reflective and thoughtful way. As we have done so, we have not abandoned the positive benefits of the lecture method, nor have we found it necessary to give students the majority of class time. Instead, we have found that students benefit from brief, mid-lecture learning activities and that these benefits are reflected in student comments and feedback. There are times when learning activities work extremely well and other times when they do not. As educators continue to experiment and refine these activities, the successes become more frequent, and the time spent on these short activities becomes more effective. Additionally, as we have planned and integrated these activities into our methodology, we have experienced increased enjoyment and satisfaction with our teaching and interactions with our students.

The following statement serves as an appropriate summary of the benefits of active learning in the classroom: “What I hear, I forget. What I hear and see, I remember a little. What I hear, see, and ask questions about or discuss with someone else, I begin to understand. What I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill. What I teach to another, I master.” [50]

 



Notes

[1] Diane Stark, “Professional Development Module on Active Learning,” http://www.texascollaborative.org/activelearning.htm.

[2] Khalil Gibran, “Khalil Gibran Quotes,” http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/k/kahlilgibr108029.html.

[3] Charles  Bonwell and James Eison, Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom, in ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report no. 1 (Washington, DC: George Washington University, School of Education and Human Development, 1991), 1.

[4] John Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 149.

[5] Bonwell and Eison, Active Learning, 3.

[6] Tracey Sutherland  and Charles Bonwell, Using Active Learning in College Classes: A Range of Options for Faculty (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996), 32.

[7] Melvin Silberman, Active Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject (Needham, MA: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 2.

[8] Wilbert McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki, Teaching Tips: A Guidebook for the Beginning College Teacher (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011), 66-70.

[9] Jon Penner, Why Many College Teachers Cannot Lecture (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1984), 126-31.

[10] McKeachie and Svinicki, McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, 58–59.

[11] Elizabeth Spelke, William Hirst, and Ulric Neisser, “Skills of Divided Attention,” Cognition 4 (1976): 215–30.

[12] Nick Zepke and Linda Leach, Active Learning in Higher Education: Improving Student Engagement: Ten Proposals for Action (Palmerstown, New Zealand: School of Educational Studies, Massey University, 2010), http://alh.sagepub.com.

[13] Alexander Astin, Achieving Educational Excellence (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985), 133–34.

[14] John Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 2.

[15] Elder Richard G. Scott, for example, has stated, “Never, and I mean never, give a lecture where there is no student participation. A ‘talking head’ is the weakest form of class instruction. . . . Assure that there is abundant participation because that use of agency by a student authorizes the Holy Ghost to instruct. It also helps the student retain your message. As students verbalize truths, they are confirmed in their souls and strengthen their personal testimonies.” Richard G. Scott, “To Understand and Live Truth,” Church Educational System satellite broadcast, February 6, 2005.

Elder David A. Bednar has stated, “You and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. . . . Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon? . . . A learner exercising agency by acting in accordance with correct principles opens his or her heart to the Holy Ghost and invites His teaching, testifying power, and confirming witness. Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception.” David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning by Faith,” Church Educational System broadcast, February 3, 2006.

Efforts by the Church to encourage active learning can be seen in the recently instituted youth Sunday School curriculum, “Come, Follow Me.” Active learning methods can also be found in any teaching manual prepared by the Church. See, for example, the brief video segment entitled “Teach the Gospel,” https://www.lds.org/service/leadership/teach-the-gospel?lang=eng#principles-of-teaching.

[16] Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, “Fundamentals of Gospel Teaching and Learning” (Salt Lake City: Intellectual Reserve, 2012), http://www.lds.org/bc/content/ldsorg/seminary-institute/PD50021993_000_1....

[17] Bonwell and Eison, Active Learning, 2.

[18] University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning, “What Is Active Learning?” University of Minnesota, http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/teachlearn/tutorials/active/what/.

[19] Donald R. Paulson and Jennifer L. Faust, “Active Learning for the College Classroom,” California State University, http://web.calstatela.edu/dept/chem/chem2/Active/.

[20]Bonwell and Eison, Active Learning, 3.

[21] Sutherland and Bonwell, Using Active Learning in College Classes, 33.

[22] Dee Fink, Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003), 106–7.

[23] John Braxton, Willis Jones, Amy Hirschy, and Harold Hartley III, “The Role of Active Learning in College Student Persistence,” New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 115 (Fall 2008): 80.

[24] Braxton, Jones, Hirschy, and Hartley, “The Role of Active Learning,” 72.

[25] Braxton, Jones, Hirschy, and Hartley, “The Role of Active Learning,” 71–72.

[26] Silberman, Active Learning, 6.

[27] Glenn Bowen and others, “Listening to the Voices of Today’s Undergraduates: Implications for Teaching and Learning,” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 111, no. 3 (2011): 21–33.

[28] Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent, “Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction” (North Carolina State University: 1996); http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Resist.html.

[29] Felder and Brent, “Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction,” 44.

[30] Sources for many of these activities are shown in the notes. Some activities were gathered from conversations with other religious educators and from personal experience. These activities can potentially be found in books on active learning, but will not show a reference since they were not obtained from those books.

[31] Paulson and Faust, “Active Learning for the College Classroom,” 7.

[32] Paulson and Faust, “Active Learning for the College Classroom,” 8.

[33] Bean, Engaging Ideas, 183–89.

[34] While teachers and researchers have referenced this activity, the authors have been using this strategy in their teaching for a number of years and feel like this approach is a product of their creativity.

[35] Bean, Engaging Ideas, 183–89.

[36] Bonwell and Eison, Active Learning, 13–14.

[37] Donna Bowles, “Active Learning Strategies . . . Not for the Birds,” International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship 3, no. 1 (2006): 22.

[38] One of the authors has used this strategy in his teaching for a number of years and does not consider the need to reference this activity to another person’s work or research.

[39] Bowles, Active Learning Strategies, 22.

[40] Silberman, Active Learning, 152.

[41] Richard Light, Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds (Cambridge: Harvard, 2001), 55.

[42] Both authors have used this learning activity throughout their professional teaching careers. While others have referred to this methodology in their publications, the authors’ use of this teaching approach is considered to be a product of their own creativity.

[43] Bean, Engaging Ideas, 117.

[44] Dee Fink, Creating Significant Learning Experiences (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003), 118.

[45] The authors have both used this strategy in their classrooms for years and do not consider the need to reference this approach as another teacher or researcher’s work.

[46] Paulson and Faust, “Active Learning for the College Classroom,” 4.

[47] Paulson and Faust, “Active Learning for the College Classroom,” 2.

[48] Sutherland and Bonwell, Using Active Learning in College Classes (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996), 33.

[49] Paulson and Faust, “Active Learning for the College Classroom,” 3.

[50] Silberman, Active Learning, 1.