ABLConnect COVID19 Statement
We are here to support the teaching community as instructors around the world transition to teaching digitally in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. Check out our new “Going Digital” menu option for more details. Challenges undoubtedly will arise while transferring lesson plans from in-person classes to the online environment; however, we hope that the principles outlined on this site can ease the change to remote teaching.
Our guiding principle at ABLConnect is to encourage the use of student-centered, Activity-Based Learning (ABL). Start by considering what it is you want your students to learn, and then consider what that learning “looks like”: what can students do to demonstrate that they understand and are following along? What activities can you give students to generate new ideas, insights, or conclusions beyond what they’ve been taught so far?
We offer descriptions of how to run such activities as well as a large database of activity examples, along with annotated versions of some of our favorite activities. While activities on our website may or may not have been “born digital,” their founding principles are transferable to remote teaching.
We hope that teachers use the transfer to the digital classroom as an opportunity to incorporate activity-based learning into their teaching programs. Please see our new “Going Digital” menu option for further suggestions or reach out to us with comments/questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABLConnect Teaching Innovator Award
Share your activities!
Innovator Award Winners for 2018–2019
Thank you to everyone who submitted an activity to our Teaching Innovator Award contest for 2018–2019! We were so impressed with the high quality of the submissions and thrilled to see the wide range of imaginative activities being used across campuses. Instructors from every discipline and at every level are sure to benefit from implementing these activity-based learning activities in their classrooms. We are excited to announce the winners of the 2018–2019 Teaching Innovator Awards, as follows:
Shai Dromi, Andrew Keefe, and Kwan Woo
Dr. Dromi and his teaching fellows helped students master the art of synthesizing and visualizing a complex array of historical information to shed light on precipitating forces behind humanitarian crises in “Visualizing Humanitarian Crises and Interventions.” See how they leveraged a novel and creative platform to help students build illuminating timelines here.
Graham Allison, Derek Reveron, and David Sanger
This trio of trailblazing faculty has brought their diverse experiences and expertise on topics ranging from national security to foreign policy to bear on classroom instruction through an exciting, immersive medium: a realistic simulation, aptly called “Being in the White House Situation Room.” See how they used this activity to make classroom material come to life here.
Dana Mirsalis’s activity “Let's try to stop the Tokugawa shogunate from collapsing!” puts students in the shoes of an advisor to the Tokugawa shogunate in the 19th century to get them to think about how they would respond to pressing issues given the limited information they had at the time. See how this activity brings students to appreciate the motivations for historical decisions through research and role play here.
Jennifer Rivers Cole
In her broadly applicable activity “A Before and After Close Paper Reading,” Dr. Cole addresses a concern students so often have when they first enter the world of reading research papers: They don’t know what all the key terms mean. By helping students identify and build up to understanding these terms, Dr. Cole teaches students a strategy that will serve them throughout their time in college and beyond. See how she guides them through the process here.
Through her activity “Learning through Case Construction,” Dr. Ballard flips the script on the familiar case study by having students grapple with an ethical issue concerning sex, gender, and sexuality and then construct their own case studies to capture the issue. See how she tailored a familiar activity to help students discuss and debate new ethical questions in a civil and focused way here.
These and other entries can be found on our activity database. We encourage all teachers to find inspiration for their lesson plans in our expansive database and to submit your own activities for the next contest so that we can recognize your achievements at reimagining what classroom learning can look like. Thanks again for your submissions, and congratulations to our winners!