In higher education, a notable shift towards active learning pedagogy is evident, supported by research demonstrating its efficacy in enhancing student learning and engagement. However, this approach often emphasizes extraverted qualities such as verbal participation and group interactions. While beneficial, it may inadvertently sideline introverted students who excel in reflection and deeper analysis (Cain, 2012). To ensure inclusivity and tap into the full spectrum of student capabilities, educators should consider integrating activities that allow introverted qualities to flourish—thoughtful reflection, in-depth contemplation, and creative ideation—facilitating a more balanced and enriching learning experience.
The goal of this user case is to inspire and create active learning acitivities and assessments that give more space to Introverted qualities.
Rethinking and redesigning Active Learning activities from the perspective of Introverts.
Active learning environments reflect constructivist theory of learning. Based on this understanding of learning, knowledge resides within an individual's understanding and is therefore not transferred, but constructed or reconstructed by each learner as they make sense of new information by relating it to their existing knowledge and experiences.
Professional development programs at the Faculty of Science UvA promote the design of active learning environments. In practice, many teachers create a learning environment that emphasizing mostly extraverted competences like group work; assertiveness, frequent verbal engagement, action focused and bigger picture focused activities. This potentially overshadowes introverted strengths like introspection, deep analysis, good listening, observant, better in 1-on-1 settings, focused.
Constructivism highlights the need to acknowledge diverse cognitive styles for effective knowledge construction. To address this, active learning environments should balance group dynamics with individual reflection, diversify communication channels, and appreciate introverted contributions for a comprehensive learning experience.
For teachers, the challenge lies in assessing learning progress in real-time within a social setting. Group-focused, extraversion-oriented environments allow easier observation and evaluation of student engagement through visible actions and verbal interactions. However, this focus on extraverted competences may inadvertently neglect introverted learners' strengths in reflection and analysis. Achieving a balance is vital to recognize and value both introverted and extraverted competences, adapting teaching approaches to accommodate diverse learning styles. Teachers must ensure all students, including quieter and introspective individuals, have equal opportunities to showcase their abilities, fostering inclusivity and enriching the learning experience.
At the Science Faculty of the University of Amsterdam this question has surfaced in past Teacher Professionalisation programs. Now hopefully we can explore this topic into more depth and create usable activities that teachers can implement in their teaching practice.
The local goals are to inspire lecturers to rethink and redesign active learning elements in their courses from the perspective of a more introverted student. So after this workshop lecturers will be able to:
A two hour workshop:
Before the workshop lecturer is asked to do the following 3 things:
During the workshop we will meet face to face and do 3 main activities:
Two months after the workshop participants are asked to fill in a short questionnaire reflecting on their experiences implementing the redesigned activities and other possible effects of the workshop.
Ted Talk of Susan Cain on The power of Introverts (2012).
King, A. (1993). From sage on the stage to guide on the side. College teaching, 41(1), 30-35.
Click https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/27558571.pdf link to open resource.
Miro board to build persona of student with introvert characteristics.
Inspire teachers to create active learning activities that cater to both extraverted and introverted characteristics.
Give teachers such hands on ideas, implementation will be evident.
Two months after the meeting a short evaluation form will be sent to the participating lecturers to reflect on the applicability in their practice and other possible effects of the workshop.
This CPD scenario describes a User case in which lecturers develop their competence in designing interactive teaching and facilitating problem solving and how to facilitate student’s deep learning and development of higher cognitive skills and develop attitudes in supporting student development and enabling students’ well-being in a learning process and inclusivity and reflecting on own teaching practice and practicing teaching and learning in an evidence informed way and knowledge sharing.
The approximate duration of a User case that follows this scenario is several months.
In this CPD scenario the participants meet in person on location with the training staff and with other participants.