What is Active Learning?
Active learning is an instructional model which focuses on having the students be an active part of the learning experience, rather than a passive listener as with a traditional lecture. This doesn’t mean that it can’t involve lecturing but it will take up additional class time to provide opportunities for interactions.
Benefits of Active Learning
During a lecture students begin to lose focus after about 15 minutes, making it difficult for them to learn the material. By using active learning techniques, instructors are able to shift from the lecture to short exercises that help students process and understand the material covered in the lecture while also re-engaging the student’s focus. Active learning also helps to address the different learning styles students may have and can increase the sense of community in a classroom.
Implementing Active Learning
Begin by studying the different techniques and activities that could be effective for your class. Because active learning doesn’t require an all or nothing approach, it’s possible to start small and slowly increase the number of activities. This allows you and your students to adjust to the different style of teaching.
- Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation
- University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning
- Study Guides and Strategies