To be intelligent is to be open-minded, active, memoried,and persistently experimental.
Leopold Stein, 1810 - 82
What is active learning?
Active learning is experiential, mindful, and engaging.
Learning experiences can be more effective and interesting, taking more responsibility for your education. This is especially critical in an online environment where you may not even meet your teacher or fellow students.
Begin by defining content (what to study) and establishing your objectives (what to learn). Next read! Do your research. Then build a foundation of activities that can help you learn, and communicate what you have learned. Some may not be interesting to you; some a nice fit with your preferred learning style(s).
Active listening intentionally focuses on who you are listening to, whether in a lecture, in a conversation, or a group, in order to understand what is said. As the listener, you should then be able to “replay” or repeat back in your own words what they have said to their satisfaction. This does not mean you agree with, but rather understand, what they are saying. See our guide on active listening.
Look at images, such as pictures and graphs and maps (for example, the Cone of Learning below). Try to understand the use and importance of each image: enter key words that come to mind. Verbal cues, such as titles and authors, and visual cues such as line, color, visual organization, etc. will help you interpret information and understand its story without the words. Often the context of the image is vital to understanding it, as illustrations in a text book, examples in a catalogue, graphs in a financial statement. So also a painting can be better understood by its time, art movement, etc.
In addition to PowerPoint lectures, multimedia and movies have the
advantage of illustrating reading and lecture content in new (engaging)
Demonstrations and field trips build on classroom experiences and can provide you as an individual with a shared learning experience on a topic.
They also enable you as learner to witness how concepts are practiced or exemplified in real life processes or situations.
Remember: you don’t need a classroom trip to visit locations that will help you understand your studies! Brainstorm organizations, factories, etc. and send an email or phone to set up a visit. Don’t just go and expect professionals to stop their work.
As we progress into “active” learning , a group can make the task more
Within the group, you share responsibility to participate and collaborate, take advantage of each participant’s strengths, and rely on each other for good project management and effective learning.
Develop, produce, practice and deliver
speeches and presentations; multi-media and interactive programs; newsletters, Websites and blogs, etc.
Developing these include:
As an exercise, this dynamic learning process builds on, applies and reinforces
what you have learned, not only for content, but also the process in developing
In the process of translating content into message, you refine what you think you know, and uncover more that you will need to understand.
Communicating relies on developing your message for a specific audience.
If in a collaborative project, you have the advantage of sharing your educational experience: each participant should be open to feedback that includes questioning, listening and evaluating answers.
The more you work with what is learned,
the more confidently you will recall it.
Examples include interviewing and developing oral histories;
role playing, performing, debating through opposing points of view;
case studies and problem-based learning, gaming and simulations;
research projects and symposiums; developing models;
student teaching including developing evaluation instruments (test questions); leading discussions and review sessions. There is no better way to learn a language than to live in its environment.
Writing is communicating/expressing what you learned, a method of evaluating what you know, as well as an active learning exercise
In pairs or a group, online or in person, you can read and react to what other learners post/write, and respond to and provide feedback in a collaborative environment, even collaborate on the development of an exercise.Understand writing as a process