“Tell me and I’ll forget

Show me and I may remember

Involve me and I’ll understand” – Chinese Proverb

Introduction:

Active learning is a form of instruction that involves the learner in the learning process. It is based on the premise that the most effective way to learn is by doing, rather than passively listening or reading. This type of learning encourages learners to take an active role in their education, from asking questions and engaging in discussions to actively participating in activities and experiments.

In contrast to traditional teaching methods, which generally involve lecturing and providing information for the students to absorb, active learning focuses on the active involvement of students in the learning process. Active learning can help to create an exciting learning environment that encourages students to take an active role in their own education.

Student Achievement

Research has shown that active learning can have a positive effect on student achievement. Studies have found that students who participate in active learning activities consistently outperform their peers in terms of academic achievement.

Student engagement

Active learning can improve student engagement by providing opportunities for students to interact with the material and with each other. Through discussions, simulations, projects, and other activities, active learning allows students to build connections between the material and their own lives. This can help them better understand what they are studying, as well as encourage them to think more deeply about the topics.

Active Learning Activities

Active learning activities are many and varied. They include –

    • discussions

    • simulations

    • indpendent projects

    • collaborative projects

    • debates

    • group work

    • field trips

and more …

Many activities are problem-based and linked to authentic assessment which  require students to analyse real-world problems and devise solutions. This real-world link can be enhanced by activities such as field trips, industry sponsored projects and internships. Active learning can foster collaboration and critical thinking skills that are essential in the modern workplace.

Benefits to teachers

Active learning activities can benefit teachers in many ways. For example, by facilitating active learning activities in the classroom, teachers can increase student engagement, participation, and understanding of the material. Active learning activities allow teachers to assess student knowledge and understanding in real-time. This also allows teachers to tailor their instruction to the needs of their students. Furthermore, active learning activities can foster a collaborative classroom environment, which is essential for student success. By encouraging students to work together to solve problems and understand concepts, teachers can help to create an atmosphere of learning that is both motivating and stimulating.

Should active learning replace lectures?

Lectures are still an effective way to teach students important concepts and provide them with foundational knowledge, but a mix of lectures and active learning is the key to achieving optimal learning outcomes. An ideal class should be balanced between these two types of learning in order to give students the opportunity to engage with their course material both intellectually and practically.

Author
Dr Graeme Salter

Helpring create engaging educators