Active learning is a process whereby learners engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis and evaluation of content. Cooperative learning, problem-based learning and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning.

Why Would I Use Active Learning Strategies?
Active learning fully engages most learners instead of just a few learners who normally do all the talking. The atmosphere is much livelier than traditional lectures. Cognitive science and classroom research has established that individuals learn more through active practice and feedback than from lectures.
When Can I Use Active Learning Strategies?
Research suggests that audience attention in lectures starts to wane every 10-20 minutes. Incorporating active learning techniques once or twice during an hour-long lecture will encourage engagement.

Krista Longtin

Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis