What is Active Learning?
WHAT IS ACTIVE LEARNING AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Surprisingly, educators’ use of the term “active learning” has relied more on intuitive understanding than a common definition. Consequently, many faculty assert that all learning is inherently active and that students are therefore actively involved while listening to formal presentations in the classroom. Analysis of the research literature (Chickering and Gamson 1987), however, suggests that students must do more than just listen: They must read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. Most important, to be actively involved, students must engage in such higher-order thinking tasks as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Within this context, it is proposed that strategies promoting active learning be defined as instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing. -from Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom
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 straight lecture, is deemphasized in favor of class discussion, problem solving, cooperative learning, and writing exercises (graded and ungraded). Other examples of active learning techniques include role-playing, case studies, group projects, think-pair-share, peer teaching, debates, Just-in-Time Teaching, and short demonstrations followed by class discussion. –from Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College: Teaching Methods
Resources about Active Learning
Navigating The Bumpy Road To Student-Centered Instruction by Richard M. Felder and Rebecca Brent.