What is it?
Simply put, active learning is the process of "doing" or practicing the material during the session. Practicing the material by engaging in activities designed around your learning outcomes for the session is critical to student learning and promotes engagement.
Why do it?
- Cognitive research has shown that for a majority of students, lecture alone is not an effective educational strategy. If a student has the opportunity to read, hear, see, do and discuss the material, they will remember MUCH more.
- Activity breaks up the monotony of a session, so students pay attention longer and enjoy the session more.
- Students will more likely be able to repeat the important steps in the research process on their own.
- Active learning encourages the integration of old and new material or knowledge.
- Higher-level thinking skills are activated, leading to enhanced critical thinking skills.
- Independent activities give students an opportunity to incorporate their own learning patterns into the activity.