Innovative Teaching Methods and Experiential Approaches for Engaged Learning

Course overview

This immersive 5-day course is designed to empower educators with innovative teaching methods and experiential approaches that foster student engagement, creativity, and lifelong learning. Participants will explore a range of cutting-edge strategies, including project-based learning, non-formal education, outdoor education, and contextual learning, while gaining hands-on experience in designing and implementing interactive learning activities.

The course will provide an overview of trending innovative teaching methods and their benefits for enhancing the student learning process and fostering a positive attitude towards education. Participants will delve into the key principles and components of project-based learning, enabling them to design student-driven activities that promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Emphasis will be placed on non-formal education and experiential learning approaches, equipping participants with the skills to create engaging and interactive learning experiences. Participants will learn how to design and deliver non-formal education activities that foster student motivation, participation, and creativity, while also exploring the benefits of using these methods in multicultural environments.

The course will introduce participants to the power of multimedia, digital apps, and game-based education, providing practical strategies for integrating technology into the learning process and captivating students’ interest. Participants will also explore the principles of contextual learning and outdoor education, gaining insights into the personal, social, and relational development opportunities these approaches offer.

To enhance the learning experience and provide a cultural context, the course will incorporate a guided visit to a local museum, heritage site, or eco-conscious initiative. This visit will allow participants to explore the cultural richness of the area, draw inspiration from sustainable practices, and gain insights into incorporating inclusive and green dimensions into their teaching methodologies.

Tentative schedule:

Day 1: Setting the stage for innovative teaching

  • Icebreakers and networking activities
  • Introduction to the course and participants
  • Overview of the course methodology and expectations
  • Exploring the landscape of innovative teaching methods
  • Transitioning from teacher-centered to student-centered approaches
  • Group discussions: Reflections on current teaching practices and challenges

Day 2: Non-formal education and interactive learning

  • Basic concepts and principles of non-formal education
  • Fostering student motivation, participation, and creativity through non-formal and experiential learning activities
  • The benefits of using non-formal methods in multicultural environments
  • Hands-on activities: Designing, preparing, and implementing engaging non-formal activities
  • Integrating technology and game-based education for interactive learning

Day 3: Multimedia, digital apps, and contextual learning

  • Exploiting the power of multimedia and digital apps to engage students in the learning process
  • Hands-on activities: Creating lessons around videos and engaging students
  • The principles and benefits of contextual learning
  • Teamwork activities: Exploring different scenarios for contextual learning

Day 4: Outdoor education and personal development

  • Key principles and benefits of outdoor education and outdoor learning
  • The value of outdoor education for personal, social, and relational development
  • Cultural visit (e.g. museum, heritage site) guided in English to explore local heritage and sustainability practices
  • Experiential activities: Group exercises, problem-solving games, and outdoor challenges
  • Hands-on activities: Designing, planning, and delivering outdoor educational activities

Day 5: Project-based learning and course wrap-up

  • The key components of project-based learning (PBL)
  • Formulating driving questions and student-driven activities in PBL
  • Hands-on activities: Designing effective PBL activities
  • Course evaluation and feedback
  • Certification ceremony

The classes typically run from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon, with the afternoon and evening reserved for self-reflection and individual study. However, the course schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the preferences of the participants and the availability of instructors or external learning locations. Participants will receive the finalized schedule well in advance, allowing ample time for preparation and planning.

Learning outcomes:

The participants will be able to:

  • Analyze the landscape of innovative teaching methods and their benefits for enhancing student learning and engagement.
  • Develop strategies to transition from teacher-centered to student-centered approaches, fostering student motivation, participation, and creativity.
  • Design and deliver interactive non-formal education activities that promote experiential learning and cater to diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Integrate technology, multimedia, and game-based education into their teaching practices to create engaging and interactive learning experiences.
  • Apply the principles of contextual learning and outdoor education to facilitate personal, social, and relational development among students.
  • Implement project-based learning activities that promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration through student-driven projects.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of various innovative teaching methods and adapt them to meet the specific needs of their educational contexts.
  • Collaborate with fellow educators to share best practices, strategies, and resources for implementing innovative teaching methods and experiential approaches.
  • Incorporate cultural elements and inspiration from local heritage and sustainable practices into their teaching methodologies, promoting inclusive and environmentally conscious practices.
  • Develop a comprehensive action plan for integrating innovative teaching methods and experiential approaches into their educational settings, fostering engaged and lifelong learning among students.

Course fee:

  • 400 euro per participant (covered entirely by the Erasmus grant)

Course fee includes:

  • At least 25 hours of course content;
  • Course materials;
  • Certificate of participation;
  • Europass, on request;
  • Learning / Mobility Agreement;
  • Visits to local institutions, if available;
  • Personalized support;
  • Free high-speed WIFI internet at the POU Čakovec premises;
  • Refreshments;
  • Administration costs;
  • Dissemination materials.
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