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Resources the facilitate the use of active learning in both classroom and online environments
These resources are meant to aid in the identification, practice, and implementation of research-based active learning approaches. It can be used in both online and face-to-face learning environments. This guide should help you to create and recognize opportunities to integrate active learning activities that facilitate desired student learning outcomes into your course in both planned and dynamic ways.
Categories of Active Learning
- Analysis and Critical Thinking — Analysis & Critical Thinking activities assess students' skills at breaking down information, questions, or problems in order to understand them more fully and solve them more efficiently. Using these approaches, instructors can measure how well students are able to interpret or analyze information and arrive at an informed decision or judgement.
- Discussions — Discussion activities assess how well students can formulate their ideas and communicate them clearly. Unlike large classroom discussions, these approaches place students in smaller groups with the goal of providing them a structure for participation, opportunities to formulate and gather their thoughts, share and develop ideas with others, and rehearse their thoughts within a safer environment. Using these approaches, instructors can evaluate how well students recall, synthesize, and apply information in responding to a discussion prompt.
- Prior Knowledge — Prior Knowledge activities assess students' learning of facts and principles. They measure how well students are learning the content they are studying and reveal how they are managing the accumulation of knowledge into their already established structures. Using these approaches, instructors can gauge how well the content is being or has been learned.
- Problem-Solving — Problem-Solving activities assess how well students can analyze, evaluate, and apply information toward the goal of solving a problem or drawing a conclusion based on available evidence or information. Using these approaches, instructors can evaluate how well students can work within a given framework to come to a solution individually or collaboratively.