Active Learning

Active learning, as the name suggests, is a process whereby learners are actively engaged in the learning process. It is a style of learning where participants learn material through first-hand experience. Students who attain information through active learning are more likely to retain information than those who learn by observation only. When planning lectures try to incorporate a few examples of active learning. Some strategies include:

  • Pause for a few minutes to allow students to consolidate their notes and summarize what they have learned.
  • Insert a demonstration into your lecture.
  • Introduce a brief, un-graded, written exercise that allows students to demonstrate what they have learned.
  • Have a discussion (for ideas on discussion models see the "Leading Discussions" link on this webpage).
  • Have students keep a learning journal where they record their personal reactions to the concepts they are studying.
  • Initiate a discussion on OWL regarding the concepts covered in lecture.