Active learning balances direct instruction (i.e. a lecture) with a student-centered activity. This approach emphasizes for students their role in their own learning. When students engaging in active learning exercises, they experience increases in:
- Critical thinking,
- Interpersonal skills,
- Connections between previously learned and new material, and
To increase active learning in your courses, open the class session with a hook connecting old information to the new information you’ll be covering that day. Provide a pause for actively engaging with the material following every 12-15 minutes of lecture and end the class by summarizing the main points and helping students to make connections between the day’s material and their own lives.
Active learning strategies require students to listen and talk, write, read, and reflect. The graphic below (click to enlarge) provides some specific active learning strategies. For more on active learning with using CATs (classroom assessment techniques) as active learning strategies, visit the CITL website or contact us for a consultation.
Active learning is the 2nd of 7 principles for effective undergraduate teaching we have reviewed. Subscribe to the blog to be sure you don’t miss the other 5 principles, as well as other great topics on the CITL Blog this year.
7 Principles of Good Teaching Blog Series – by Shannon Sipes