Active learning is "anything that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing" (Bonwell & Eison, 1991, p. 2). Research suggests attention wanes after 15-20 minutes of a lecture. Active learning techniques can be used to re-energize and refocus a class.
In an active learning classroom, students must think, create and solve problems rather than passively listen to lecture. Active learning techniques and strategies can be used to develop quick activities that punctuate lectures. They can also be used to completely fill the class time.
During the break between semesters, our electronic classrooms (Library rooms 501 and 502) were redesigned to support an active learning environment. An active learning environment is a flexible space that can be reconfigured quickly for a wide variety of teaching methods. An active learning environment supports student-centered learning and works best when you have furniture that allows students to easily shift from independent work to group work to class discussions and back again—without wasting valuable class time.
Our electronic classrooms are primarily used by faculty teaching regularly-scheduled university courses which make extensive regular use of multimedia materials and/or network communications. Information about our approval process is available in our approval and assignment of Electronic Classrooms and Teaching Lab document.
Are you interested in incorporating active learning techniques in your classes? Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Getting Started with Active Learning Techniques
- Active Learning Techniques for the Classroom
- Best Practices: Active Learning
We invite you to visit us if you are interested in taking a tour of our active learning classrooms.