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Participatory Learning Approach

Participatory Learning Approach
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Author(s): Michael Bieber (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Jia Shen (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA), Dezhi Wu (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA) and Starr Roxanne Hiltz (New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch234


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The Participatory Learning Approach (PLA, pronounced “play”) engages students as active participants in the full life cycle of homework, projects, and examination. PLA’s core idea is that students design the questions or projects, execute them, and then assess and grade their peers’ solutions. Each stage can be performed by individuals or by teams. Students should be able to observe (read) everything their peers do so they can learn further from others’ efforts. Designing problems challenges students to critically assess understanding of a subject by their peers. This encourages students to analyze course materials in order to determine the most important aspects for this assessment. Evaluating solutions challenges students to assess how fully a set of materials (the solution) fits their understanding of the field as well as the problem posed.

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