I believe interaction, application and association are very important in enabling students
to learn in class.
Interaction: Students think actively when they interact with others and the instructor.
I always encourage interaction and discussion in class. When students discuss problems with
others and the instructor, they have an opportunity to understand different ideas. Students
understand a new concept better when they try to explain it to others. The skill of explaining
ideas to others is crucial for them to find a better job. My students will probably become
engineers after they graduate. At their workplaces, they will collaborate with their colleagues
on some projects, so they need to gain the ability to collaborate with co-workers to improve
their technical skills. Student presentations provide students an opportunity to learn by
themselves and from other students. Group work is essential to help students to develop both
professional skills and interpersonal skills. I encourage students to finish assignments and
course projects with other students. By interacting with others, students can practice interpersonal
skills, critical thinking skills, listening skills, and so on. Interaction always provides
helpful feedback to students. People learn effectively when they receive some helpful feedback
or critiques. Constructive feedback helps students gain insight into their learning and clears
Application: We learn things better if we have an opportunity to practice them after
we are taught. As a student, I learned best through application and came to appreciate the value
of hands-on experience. Students learn passively when a new concept is told. If they are given
an opportunity to practice what they have learned, they will understand the concept much better
and remember the theory longer. In the engineering field, skills to solve practical problems
using new technologies are very important. Engineers not only need to know a theory, but also
need to apply it to solve problems. I highly value the use of practical exercises, assignments,
and labs to allow students to practice what they have learned.
Association: Association is established through learning or experience. As adult learners,
people fully understand new concepts only if they can see the connections between a new concept and
a familiar one. In order to help students build the connections, an instructor needs to review the
concepts students already know before introducing a new one. In this way, students are able to
associate a new concept with an existing one. Everything they have learned becomes concrete as their
own knowledge. Association helps us collect isolated ideas in learners' minds.