"Energy, enthusiasm and open mindedness": Inside the Global Festival of Active Learning
Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Last week saw the inaugural Global Festival of Active Learning, organised by the Active Learning Network, take place online with breakfast and supper slots offering a range of interactive opportunities to learn about innovative active learning pedagogy. With over 1,800 sign-ups for the sessions and participants from as far away as Canada, Australia and USA engaging, the festival was a truly global experience.
The festival offered not only interactive sessions every day with “campfire” discussions and presentation “tents”, but also included a range of “moshpit” activities to enable people to bounce their ideas around the community. There was even a festival playlist constructed by participants using Flipgrid video responses and a networking “after-party” opportunity offered using the Wonder.me platform.
Paolo Oprandi, one of the organisers of the festival and a lead for the Sussex satellite group of the network, said: “An Active Learning festival is much more than an opportunity to showcase creative ideas - it is a garden for growing creative ideas. The value of each session is much more than what the facilitators bring, it is the ideas and solutions we generate in the session on the day.”
One participant was inspired to write: “It has been great to network with many colleagues from different institutions and I have felt very inspired throughout. It’s also made me think about conferences I’ve been to in the past with 2 hour keynote speakers and how this has been so much more fun and invigorating.
“I think something else which has stood out is how supportive and encouraging everyone has been with new ideas - every session I’ve been to has had a good energy, enthusiasm and a sense of open mindedness. I’m gutted we now have to ‘pack up our tents’ and ‘go home’.”
The Active Learning Network was founded at Sussex in 2017 by Tab Betts and Wendy Garnham and has now expanded to include 20 satellite networks at institutions both in the UK and internationally. In addition to the monthly webinars offered by the network, there is an annual conference which is due to take place again in July this year.
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