Posted on February 17, 2021
Active pedagogy is a method aiming to make the learner the actor of his learning. It is thus opposed to the idea of a transmissive approach.
Indeed, it is a question for the learner to deduce learning by doing, whether through experimentation (experiential learning), by exchanging with others (collaborative learning), trying to solve situations (problem-based learning), getting involved in a project (project-based learning). These are the four main approaches that can be associated with active pedagogy (source: https://pedagotheque.enpc.fr/2017/03/31/integrer-le-jeu-dans-son-cours-mode-demploi/)
In concrete terms, how can active pedagogy be implemented?
When an active pedagogy is implemented, we talk about active learning. Several authors such as Meyers & Jones (1993) or Benoît Raucent and Cécile Vander Borght (2006), for example, describe active learning as an invitation to make learners collaborate in groups (collaborative learning) to achieve the objectives set by the trainer: solving a situation (problem-based learning), conducting a project (project-based learning), or conducting experiments (experiential learning). We thus find the four axes of active pedagogy discussed above.
How to engage groups of learners?
In order to invite groups of learners to collaborate, it is necessary to place them in a context, specifying objectives, rules and providing a series of accompaniments.
The context is, for example, a case study or a scenario that will set the scene: a disaster has just occurred in a company that produces video game consoles. The company will be ruined if it doesn't restart production as soon as possible because it risks missing Christmas deliveries.
Then come the more precise objectives assigned to the groups of learners: a realistic solution must be found from a human, technical and financial point of view. You have 2 hours to submit this solution to the client. The rules can specify whether or not the groups have the right to make alliances, help each other or copy each other.
Are learners autonomous in an active pedagogy?
If active pedagogy puts the learner at the heart of the activity, it is however necessary to call upon a mediator or a tutor to accompany the learners.
This person is responsible for arbitrations, answering questions and making the active pedagogy sequence more fluid.
At the same time, the tutor must guide the learners in the learning objectives. The goal is not to ensure direct transmission but to test the steps or solutions that learners undertake during their activities. For example, by coming to question learners on the theories or reasoning underlying their approaches. This type of approach aims to make learners take a step back by inviting them to question themselves and their approaches (reflective approach).
Finally, when the active phase is over, it is crucial to carry out a final debriefing to allow learners to become aware of the learning that has taken place, reinforced or possibly acquired during the proposed experience. This role falls again to the mediator / tutor who, during the debriefing, takes on the role of a trainer who then adopts a transmissive approach.
Active pedagogy or transmissive approach?
According to Nicole Tremblay (2007), the structure of an active pedagogy sequence is divided into three steps: introducing the activity, animating the activity and debriefing the activity.
The introduction and facilitation phases of the activity are part of an active learning approach. As for the debriefing, it is part of a transmissive approach.
In the light of these phases, the complementarities between the active and transmissive approaches are clearly understood.
It is therefore not a question of opposing them but of playing with their complementarity.
This is precisely the approach that Immersive Factory proposes you in the edutainment activities and sequences that it helps you to conceive in order to use serious games and simulations for your face-to-face or distance training, especially in the HUB.
Meyers, C., Jones, T.B., Promoting Active Learning. Strategies for the College Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bas, 1993
Raucent B., Vander Borght C., Etre enseignant : Magister ? Metteur en scène ?, de boeck, Bruxelles, 2006
Tremblay, N. (2007). « Formation initiale des enseignants, médiation pédagogique et approche philosophique », in TREMBLAY, N. (dir.), Des pratiques philosophiques en communauté de Recherche en France et au Québec, Presse de l’Université de Laval (PUL), LAVAL, (CANADA), pp. 95-116.