Active Learning Methods

We Learn From What We Do

Doing something with course material is essential for learning and the “visible thinking” it produces can give the instructor valuable feedback on student progress.

There are many ways to introduce active learning in your class–different techniques are effective for different purposes, can be used by individuals or groups, and require different levels of preparation.

Active Question-and-Answer Techniques

These are simple and often quick activities that you can embed in lectures or other activities, and even use on-the-fly. Things like warm calling, think-pair-share, and visible quizzes take very little preparation but can add a great deal of energy and engagement. Learn more about them here.

Active Learning Outputs

These are activities that create products or “artifacts of learning” that makes visible what students do and do not understand. These can be very simple “one minute papers” or visualized concept maps or activities that even involve students reviewing each other’s work in a “gallery walk.” Learn more about them here.

Active Learning with Student Groups

Not all group work is created equal, and without proper task design and process structure, groups are likely to drift off-task or even get frustrated. Tried-and-true structures like jigsaw groups, debates, team-based learning, and group projects all hold rich potential for cohesive and high-performance learning experiences. Learn more about them here.

Download the Active Learning Methods Brochure.