Kem Saichaie
Kem Saichaie

Active learning with Kem Saichaie

Kem Saichaie, associate director for the UC Davis Center for Educational Effectiveness, partners with School of Nursing faculty to design active learning%nbsp;experiences.

Q What do students and faculty gain if more active learning strategies are used in the%nbsp;classroom?

There is a wealth of empirical research demonstrating that active learning pedagogies lead to learning gains for students from all types of backgrounds, notably those from underrepresented populations. Faculty gain the opportunity to reflect on approaches to teaching in a space that allows for greater interaction with%nbsp;students.

Q Does the type of classroom matter in terms of%nbsp;learning?

Research shows that “space matters” when it comes to learning, but we should be careful not to think that space alone is the sole reason for change. Students achieve the highest learning gains when active learning spaces are paired with learner-centered strategies, such as case-based learning. There is research to suggest that instructor- centered approaches in active learning classrooms have negative effects on student learning. This is the same for any setting, including%nbsp;online.

Q Why do you think active learning can be challenging for%nbsp;professors?

I think conceptually it is not as challenging, but practical changes to the approach of teaching can take some getting used to. Many people teach in the ways they were taught, such as instructor-centered practices. Lecturing has its place, but it should not be the only approach to%nbsp;instruction.

Q How has your collaboration with the School of Nursing demonstrated how it can lead the campus with active learning%nbsp;classrooms?

The Davis campus is rapidly expanding its inventory of active and flexible learning spaces. As these classrooms increase, my hope is that the faculty who teach in the School of Nursing can share their approaches and%nbsp;strategie