What is Active Learning?
Active learning involves students actively in the process of learning. Instead putting students in a lecture hall or a reading room where they receive information verbally and visually, students are presented with an opportunities and activities that engage them in receiving the information and participating in the process via reflection and doing learning activities.
Students learn more and retain their learning longer if they acquire it in an active rather than a passive manner. According to National Survey of Student Engagement (http://nsse.iub.edu) who examined student engagement by various learning activities students who participate in collaborative learning activities are better engaged.
How can I encourage Active Learning in my course?
1. By providing engaging experiences for students where they are actively participating in rich learning experiences such as:
- role playing
- service learning
- situational observations
- authentic place/context-based projects
- game playing
2. By requiring reflective dialogue with self or others such as in:
- learning portfolios
- create an atmosphere that is positive and open
- help students feel that they are valued members of the learning community
4. By using appropriate, concrete, and understandable examples.
- helps students find meaning in the material
- encourages light competition
- present organized course materials
- materials have appropriate level of difficulty
- provide variety that engages different modalities
- materials are relevant
- How do you successfully engage students in your courses for active learning?
- How do you envision doing this in an online course?
- National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
- Full NSSE 2011 Report [PDF]
- NSSE Annual Results 2011
- Prove*It: A database of Peer Reviewed Research Offering Validation of Effective and Innovative Teaching. This is an online index and search engine of research for undergraduate STEM course instruction (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), indexed by learning outcomes and instructional strategy.