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