Understand Active Learning

It is not uncommon for faculty approach learning through a content centered approach where faculty divide content into sections to be covered over the span of the course and then create presentations, lectures, and activities designed to introduce students to content. For example, a syllabus created based on content would have activities that reflect chapter headings from a text book. The problem with content centered creation is that it does not take into consideration situation factors (what and how students learn) and the multiple learning styles of students.

To create significant learning,  it is important to try and address as many different learning styles as possible. This is accomplished by creating learning activities that incorporate different values - which in turn will impact multiple learning styles. The more types of learning the teacher can promote the greater the potential is for creating a deeper change in the learner.

Active Learning is any type of activity that gets students involved in the learning process. The Active Learning Handbook (ALH) consists of ideas, techniques, and examples that faculty can use when creating significant teaching and learning experiences. The handbook is divided into two major sections, 1) introduction and 2) activities and components that can be incorporated into courses or exercises.

An electronic version of this handbook is available for download here (PDF). 

You may also request a hard copy of this document and explore additional classroom activities by contacting the Faculty Development Center.