Active Learning

A learning process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving, that promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of class content. The concept of active learning implies that students must engage cognitively, affectively, socially and even physically in order to learn.

Active learning places the responsibility of learning on the learner. "Active learning engages students in two aspects – doing things and thinking about the things they are doing" (Bonwell and Eison, 1991 cited on Wikipedia).

The following approaches promote active learning:

  • cooperative learning
  • problem-based learning
  • use of case methods
  • simulations

An activity within a face-to-face classroom is said to be active if:

a) Instructor has designed the activity carefully so that the learners are required to talk, write and reflect their thinking
b) Learners go beyond listening, copying of notes, execution of prescribed procedures
c) Explicitly based on theories of learning
d) Evaluated repeatedly through empirical research

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