Active Learning


Active learning refers to the level of engagement of the learner in the learning process. The goal is for learners to take responsibility for their own learning and gain a sense of empowerment. In active learning, the teacher's role is more of a guide and facilitator than a knowledge disseminator. Some teaching methods are more conducive to active learning than others, for instance, students are more likely to be active learners when working in teams to produce a product than when listening to a lecture. And students are more likely to be involved when the content is based on needs and goals growing out of their own experience. Other terms related to active learning include "hands-on," participative, discovery, collaborative, experiential, project-based. Active learning methods encourage students to take the initiative.

To find out more about Active Learning, visit the following sites:

Active/Problem-Based Learning
The Center for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Delaware promotes Active Learning as any strategy "that involves students in doing things and thinking about the things they are doing". The site includes definitions, examples, and a list of links for further information on Active Learning.

Active Learning and the Limited English Proficient
This publication by the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education discusses the following questions: ED253468 Sep 84 Active Learning. ERIC Digest No. 17
The terms "active learning," "experiential learning," and "hands-on learning" are often used interchangeably. In this Digest, the term "active learning" is used to encompass these and similar terms, focusing on active and participative learning as opposed to more passive forms of learning. The focus of this digest is the social studies classroom in elementary and secondary schools, however, much of this report is applicable to adult learners as well.

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