Active Learning

Active learning, as the name suggests, is a process whereby learners are actively engaged in the learning process. This process if often contrasted against the "passivity" which occurs when observing a lecture.

Students who actively engage with the material are more likely to recall information later and be able to use that information in different contexts. However, adopting active learning does not mean eliminating the lecture format. Activities that encourage student involvement are incorporated into the teaching plan. Example activities include: class discussion, small group discussion, debate, posing questions to the class, short written exercises and polling the class.

Active learning is often associated with project-based learning, team-based learning and group cooperative learning, all of them forms of teaching and learning that accommodate and promote collaboration among students to solve problems. This ensures that students really understand the concepts being covered. Team learning is especially beneficial in that ‘weaker’ students are presented with the material from a source other than the professor (i.e. their partner/group mates) and ‘stronger’ students reinforce their knowledge by explaining the material to others.