Active Learning in the Classroom

This KB document is part of a larger collection of documents on active learning.
More Active Learning documents

Teaching in a classrooms with masked students

Active Learning in a Classroom (with masked students)

These resources present guidance on ways of facilitating active learning in the classroom. These resources are organized around four types of learning activities that support:

Critical Thinking
Prior Knowledge
Analytic MemoBuzz GroupBackground Knowledge ProbeAnalytic Team
Categorizing GridRound RobinEmpty OutlinesCase Studies
Content, Form, & FunctionTalking ChipsFocused ListingGroup Investigations
Defining FeaturesThink/Pair/ShareMemory MatrixSend-A-Problem
Pro and Con GridThree-Step InterviewMinute Paper | Muddiest PointStructured Problem-Solving
Student-Defined QuestionsFishbowl Discussion
Think-Aloud Pair Problem-Solving

Small-Group Discussions

Non-verbal feedback approaches

In addition to the use of classroom amplification, instructors can leverage Top Hat classroom response system to present questions and to poll students in place of verbal conversations.


These activities are taken from the books Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook For College Teachers by Thomas Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, and Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty by Elizabeth F. Barkley, Claire Howell Major, and K. Patricia Cross — presents activities you can use to address specific learning outcomes. Each approach includes a basic description and overview of its outcomes, along with steps to guide its use in your course. Each technique in this resource was selected based on three criteria: ease of design, ease of implementation, and time needed to respond to activity.

  • Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 159-180.
  • Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 152.

See Also: