Clare says:

Hi everyone,
It has been researched that we only remember 25-50% of what we hear. That is why it is so important to listen actively especially in the classroom!
I've found a hilarious YouTube clip that explains and gives an example of active listening from the TV series 'Everybody loves Raymond'
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP55nA8fQ9I

Cody says:
Following on from Clare, there are some attributes which help develop active listening skills.
One I found useful was focusing on the person communicating.
This helps the speaker know that you are being attentive and taking in information.
It can also help to actively respond to questions or directions so use your body as a tool to encourage the speaker and signal your interest.

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Lauren Buswell says:Here are two pictures I found that might help students in the class develop and understand what active listening is.
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Kristen Barnett posts:
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Rhiannon Meuris-Palfrey says:


Why we want our students to be Active Listeners:
Students spend a large portion of the school day listening. They listen to announcements, to classroom instruction, to peers and to various school personnel. Students with good listening skills are generally more successful than their peers who are passive listeners. All students, however, can be taught to be better listeners and reap the benefits below:
Successful time management
  • Students with good listening skills generally follow directions correctly the first time they are given
  • Active listening skills enable students to use their time more wisely. They don’t have to spend as much time asking questions, clarifying information or fixing mistakes made as a result of passive listening.
Educational Success
  • Students who are active listeners use new information more productively. They are better equipped to access their prior knowledge, which allows them to make connections with new information. It also enables them to decide how to use this information
  • Active listeners filter information, connect to what is important, use it and store it in a meaningful way. Consequently, they often seem to have a better grasp on academic content than their peers who listen more passively.
Interpersonal Success
  • Their active attention supports the speaker and helps build his confidence. Because speakers know they are really being listened to, they feel valued. This promotes feelings of trust and respect which in turn, makes the speaker more likely to cooperate

According to Artze-Vega there are seven things you can do to encourage active listening:
1. Get to know students—and let them get to know you: Students are more likely to listen to instructors who have taken the time to get to know them as individuals. Make a concerted effort to learn their names, hobbies, and interests.
2. Talk less: Regardless of your class size, remember that your ultimate goal is for students to learn, and that listening to you talk about something in no way ensures they learned it. If and when you find it necessary to lecture, make it a mini-lecture on a crucial/complex matter or a longer lecture punctuated by individual, pair, or group work—i.e., opportunities for active learning.
3. Let others do the talking: Listening to other students, talk, think through problems, and share viewpoints can be just as illuminating for students as hearing a teacher do it.
4. Hold them accountable for listening: If you truly want your students to listen, you’ll have to give them good reasons to do so. At the very least, you should avoid giving them reasons not to listen. Providing access to detailed PowerPoint slides, for instance, discourages listening and note-taking because the slides seem so clear and comprehensive. Include activities and questions based on what was just said can also hold students accountable for listening.
5. Model good listening behavior: Too often, we start to formulate our next statement while students are talking and don’t listen as intently as we should. To enhance your own listening skills, consider trying what the counseling profession calls “restatement.” Basically, you would paraphrase your students’ responses to convey that you are genuinely listening and to make sure you understood them correctly. You could also ask them to restate each other’s or one of your points.
6. Let them help each other listen: Inevitably, students will miss something important now and again. Instead of letting this upset you, consider allocating a couple of minutes for what’s often called a “note-check.” Students compare notes with 1 or 2 students sitting near them and fill in any major gaps they missed.
7. Keep ‘em on their toes: Nothing encourages drifting off into one’s imagination, falling asleep, or inattention more than monotony. If students realise that at any moment you could call on them or ask them to work on an exercise, they are much more likely to stay attentive.

Classroom activities to understand the importance of active listening
Poor listeners: The pupils sit on the floor in a circle, and a volunteer leaves the room while the others agree on how they will behave as bad "listeners." They will, each as he/she chooses, clearly show their lack of interest in and inattentiveness to the "speaker": they will look in the other direction, scratch themselves, clean their nails, look at their watch, cough. The speaker after entering and sitting down in the middle of the circle, will pick the most interesting film he/she has seen recently and begin to talk about it. We interrupt the role playing after a short time; all the listeners thank the speaker by applauding him or her.
Question for the listeners: How do you think he/she felt while talking, and you were not listening: If you had been the speaker, how would you have reacted?
Question for the speaker: How did you feel? What did you feel like doing when no one listened to you? How could you tell that some-body was not listening?


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References


Artze-Vega(2012) Active Listening: Seven Ways to help students listen, not just hear, Higher ed teaching strategies from magna publications