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Active Learning

Active learning refers to learning strategies that involve students in doing things such as processing and applying information and reflecting on what they are doing. The benefit of including active learning strategies derives from the assumption that information encoding is more efficient when the brain is actively engaged. With active learning activities, students are encouraged to engage in higher-order thinking (e.g., analysis, synthesis and evaluation).

Active learning strategies typically used in the classroom can be adapted to the online learning environment. Some examples of active learning activities include: 

  • Discussions (forums, synchronous communication)
  • Assessment (tests and quizzes that provide immediate feedback)
  • Writings (reflective journals, essays, critiques)
  • Video clips with questions or worksheets
  • Games or simulations
  • Group or individual projects
  • Role play
  • Case study analysis

An active learning activity should:

  • Have a clear objective
  • Contain detailed and understandable directions
  • Include a means to provide feedback to students