Active Learning Strategies
Just a few techniques to get you thinking…
Active learning can involve:
· Group presentations
· Group discussion
· Group or Individual work on searches (“Treasure Hunt”; Guided Worksheet)
Active Learning Activities *
Believing and Doubting Game
Ask students to take a skeptical view of an article or the author’s view to make arguments from both sides
Students share spontaneous ideas on a topic/issue to problem-solve.
Students develop an argument/analysis based on raw data or data in the form of charts/graphs.
Students select/are assigned different sides of an issue to research and debate.
Find the Error
Students split into small groups; instructor gives each a 1-line statement that contains an inaccuracy; groups determine what is wrong and try to fix it.
One group of students is given an activity to perform; the rest observe the activity and take notes.
Students develop or play a curriculum-related game.
Graphic Organizer to Structure Reading Process
Students work with a graphic organizer – a template that helps students break down complex reading.
Students or teachers lead either small group or whole class conversation.
Students work together to research and develop a presentation on a topic.
Group or Individual Research
Could involve a “treasure hunt” or use of a guided worksheet.
Instructor reads aloud and models thought process and sense making through active questioning of students.
Reflect on a popular article or a scientific concept. Can be iterated over time as new information is learned
Partners compare their class notes to see what they missed or got wrong.
Students develop questions around an issue from a variety of perspectives.
Exercises that prompt students to draw on their prior knowledge and experiences related to a topic or issue.
Students take on assigned roles to explore a problem or issue.
In small groups, students are given a prompt on a sheet of paper; they respond to it as quickly as possible, passing the paper around the group until time is up.
Scenarios / Case Studies
Instructor provides real-world scenario with a problem students need to discuss and solve.
Provide students with a sentence stem to prompt them to make connections about a reading or concept.
Student-Created Reading Guide
Teacher assigns different paragraphs to different students. They research background information needed to understand the article and work in small groups to develop a comprehensive guide to the text.
Students come up with ways to test a hypothesis.
Students develop questions around key concepts from a reading or scientific process. Questions are compiled and used as a quiz.
Students identify unfamiliar words in a text and look them up in order to develop a class dictionary.
*Source: Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.