By David Pundak, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee and ORT Braude College, Israel
Orit Herscovitz, ORT Braude College and the Department of Education in Technology and Science, Technion, Israel and
Miri Shacham, ORT Braude College, Israel
Instruction in higher education has developed significantly over the past two decades, influenced by two trends: promotion of active learning methods and integration of web technology in e-Learning. Many studies found that active teaching improves students' success, involvement and thinking skills. Nevertheless, internationally, most instructors maintain traditional teaching methods. A research tool – Active Instruction Tendency – (AIT) questionnaire developed on the basis of 'active instructors' experience exposed the transitions they had undergone. Following a review of the literature and examination of 'active instructors' attitudes, six key areas that may characterize the lecturer's tendency to adopt active learning were identified. Using the AIT questionnaire, we examined attitudes concerning active learning of 135 instructors in three Israeli higher education institutions and 56 European distance and e-learning instructors. Their attitudes were compared with the attitudes of 'active instructors' who, for the past five years, have taught in active learning environments. In all six identified instruction areas, significant differences were found between attitudes of 'active instructors' and other instructors. Identification of these differences expands the theoretical knowledge corpus concerning instructors' attitudes toward active learning, presenting a new tool to characterize these attitudes...
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