Activity Based Cooperative Learning

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Symposium on Best Teaching & Training Practices

Nizwa College of Technology - Oman

Activity Based Co operative learning –A student centered approach to teaching and learning at colleges David Rajesh*
Abstract. This paper proposes two models in student-centered approach to adult teaching and learning. Both models have been practiced by the author to teach Business Studiesrelated courses. Activity-based Learning, one of the methods, is best suited to acquire skills and cooperative learning. The second model is proposed for knowledge acquisition. In the first model, a broad scheme of learning outcomes (in terms of skills) is designed by the teacher in consensus with the industry in which the students are expected to take up jobs in the future. Programs for every outcome are then developed by the teacher. It is then left for students to prepare, organize and deliver learning contents under the supervision of the teacher. In the second model, a class of students will be divided into groups. Each group is tasked to learn one of the topics of the course either in library or laboratory. The groups are then rearranged in such a way that each group consists of members that have different topics to teach. In this scheme, students learn first then teach this to their peers. The students are in full control of learning in both methodologies while the teacher is just a facilitator in the learning process.

1. Introduction
For long the command in teaching and learning have been with the teachers. This traditional approach is time tested and its effectiveness has been proved in pedagogy. For equally long time, the same system of teaching and learning has been put to use at the andragogy, or the adult learning as well. In many avenues, teaching to non adults and teaching to adults differ. They differ in student motivation, ability and pre-study conditions. The environmental requirements at a adult learning situations. Physical abilities do differ with the two groups. Adult is motivated to solve his problem through learning (A non adult student would be motivated to learn and excel any thing given). Adult students have the ability to follow general directions and go beyond points and rules to bear good results. A typical non adult student moves from zero knowledge to some knowledge at the end of the learning process. Whereas an adult moves from some knowledge to skill acquisition or confirmation stage at the end of the learning process. With So much in difference the teaching learning practices can hardly be the same. Hence an appeal is being made to bring andragogy (as against pedagogy) principles in teaching to students at college level. As an attempt to practice these principles were the models described in this paper were developed by the author along with a team of educational and clinical psychologists and students. Two models were designed specially for the requirements of teaching and learning to adult students. These models do not replace the methods that are currently practiced; they are meant to be supplements or complements to the practices. ____________________________________ * Nizwa College of Technology, Business Studies Department. PO Box 477, Nizwa 611 Sultanate of Oman. (davidrajesh@yahoo.com)

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Symposium on Best Teaching & Training Practices

Nizwa College of Technology - Oman

2. Activity Based Learning
The critical skill the student group is expected to have at the graduation of the course is determined in consultation with various Industries in which the students would take up employment. Three to four skills may be taken up every semester for imparting. For example, among the many identified, the following sets of skills were taken up at the beginning of the course for students of business studies: a. A ready grasp of Macro and micro economic conditions in Business b. Ability to present one’s idea in a professional manner c. Analytical view to approaching a business problem solving. Each of the...
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