Instructional techniques used to increase student engagement through activities that promote higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
Reviewing and Comparing Lecture NotesWhen students are given time to review and compare notes, students make significant learning gains by constructing context through collaboration.
Lecture ReactionLecture reaction is a strategy used to elicit deeper learning on a topic just covered in a lecture and is divided into four sections.
Backchannel DiscussionA backchannel discussion includes any conversation between students or between the students and instructor that are not the primary lecture.
Illustrative QuotationsStudents are tasked with finding one or more quotes from a text or similar material that supports a specific claim about the reading.
Muddiest Point is a technique used to determine which topic is the most unclear to students at the end of a presentation or lecture. The students are usually given the prompt: “What aspect of the lecture material is still unclear or confusing?”.
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations using PODSInteractive lecture demonstrations incorporate student participation in the demonstration using the active learning technique PODS.
Pause PrincipleA simple method of making traditional lectures into more efficient learning opportunities by incorporating well timed pauses in the lecture.
Wait TimeWait time is characterized by short pauses (10-30 seconds) when asking students to respond to questions or similar prompts given by the instructor.
Think-Pair-ShareThink-Pair-Share strategy allows students time to think about a topic, discuss their ideas with the person next to them, and share with the class.
Response technology (Clicker Questions)Classroom response systems are designed to have students use specific devices to send responses to questions posed by the instructor during a lecture.
Interactive Lecture: Small Changes for Improved Engagement and LearningEducational research has shown that students retain more course content when active learning techniques are correctly implemented in college courses.
Student participation is in the cardsAn ingenious, low-tech approach to supporting verbal participation in large classes, Aaron Bronfman uses a card-based system to track participation.
Small Teaching StrategiesSmall teaching strategies are little things that can have a big impact. University faculty present a variety of techniques they use in 5-minute speed sessions.
From lecture to active learningChad Brassil went from eight hours of class prep to recipient of the College Distinguished Teaching Award
Redesigning for large enrollmentFaced with an enrollment jumped from 30 to 95, Martha Mamo launched a redesign of her course.
Active learning strategies in MathematicsThe university math department has been working to radically redesign its first-year mathematics courses. Current efforts have yielded an 80% success rate.
Subbiah increases student engagement
Jeyam Subbiah increases student engagement with flipped course design, active learning strategies, and screen capture technology.
Active LearningInformation and techniques to include students in the learning process and increase students' attention and retention. (Knute Broady Collection)
Active Learning TechniquesActive Learning exists in three spheres: individual, group, or combination engagement.
Individual Activity IdeasGet ideas for individual activities such as one-minute essays or using the muddiest point technique
Group Activity IdeasGet ideas for how to get group activities started off
Additional Materials for Active Learning
TEDx Talks can be an excellent way to see how others make use of active learning techniques.