Active Learning Approach

“Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in class listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.”

–Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson

Active learning is a student centered approach in which the responsibility for learning is placed upon the student, often working in collaboration with classmates. In active learning teachers are facilitators rather than one-way providers of information. The presentation of facts, so often introduced through lectures, is deemphasized in favor of class discussion, problem solving, cooperative learning, and writing exercises (graded and ungraded).

Active learning is the opposite of passive learning; it is learner-centered, not teacher-centered, and requires more than just listening; the active participation of each and every student is a necessary aspect in active learning. Students must be doing things and simultaneously think about the work done and the purpose behind it so that they can enhance their higher order thinking capabilities.

Most important of all, active learning transforms students from passive listeners to active participants and helps students understand the subject in depth through inquiry, gathering and analyzing data to solving higher order cognitive problems.

active learning approach pyramid

Learning Retention Pyramid, based on Bloom’s taxonomy. Active learning is above, passive learning below

Examples of Active Learning Activities

  • Think Pair Share: students ponder the answer to a question and then share their thoughts with a neighbor.
  • Peer Review: students review and comment on materials written by their classmates.
  • Discussion: promoting a successful discussion depends on correctly framing questions. Discover tips for framing discussion questions to promote higher order thinking.
  • Role Playing: students look at the topic from the perspective of a character, who will affect and be affected by a chosen topic.
  • Problem solving using real data: students use a variety of data to explore real-world problems.
  • Just in Time Teaching: students read assigned material outside of class, respond to short questions, then participate in collaborative exercises the following class period.
  • Game-Based Learning: uses competitive exercises, either pitting the students against each other or through computer simulations.
active learning tools materials

In-house learning materials meticulously developed to promote teamwork and stimulate discussions with higher-order thinking skills

active learning tools tablets

Using digital tablets for classroom learning activities improves understanding of topics, digital skills, creativity, independent learning and motivation

active learning tools games

Using the combination of game mechanics and a reward system, every lesson will seem like playing a game with friends, generating greater interest and attention to the lesson