Teaching for Effective Learning

Active Learning Strategies

Active learning engages students in learning, using activities such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving, which promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content.

Active in-class learning also provides students with informal opportunities for feedback on how well they understood the material.

Click on the image below to explore some specific active learning techniques for engaging students in the learning process. These activities are meant for use in class, especially in lecture settings, and can be adapted to any discipline. Most of them take only a few minutes to complete. Some activities are meant to be done individually while others should be done in pairs or small groups.

Question-and-answer technique

In-class
demonstrations

One minute paper

Active Learning Strategies

Brainstorming

Think-Pair-Share

Short cases/ scenarios

Discussions

Figure 9: Examples of active learning strategies that engage students in learning.

Active learning creates the opportunity for deeper learning; however, student resistance to this type of learning is often high. Active learning conflicts with students traditional views of teaching and learning. In high school, students were told information, memorized it, and were then tested on that information. Instead, active learning requires them to take risks and try learning strategies that they have no prior experience with.

For more ideas on active learning techniques that you can try in your teaching,  go to the Introduction to Active Learning module.