Best Practice

Promote Active Learning

Bike with some books

A significant advantage of using technology in your teaching is the ability to facilitate active learning. At its most basic, “active learning” promotes student engagement via readings, discussions, written assignments, and other, more hands-on, approaches.  By asking students to perform tasks related to the material, they are forced to find a way to relate this new information to existing knowledge.

Giving students an active role in their own learning can translate to a deeper engagement with the material and ownership of the ideas and concepts being taught.

Some examples of active learning include:

  • Small-group discussions mixed into more traditional lectures (e.g. asking a question and having students discuss amongst themselves for a couple minutes before moving on with the lecture)
  • Student presentations either in the classroom or online using video or screencasting software
  • Instant feedback such as low-stakes quizzes on Blackboard or clickers in the classroom
  • Group work requiring students to design and complete projects related to the module materials

(Image: ‘Exchanging Ideas,’ Flickr user S. Alexis, Creative Commons license)