The process of having students engage in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how they are using those ideas … The process of keeping students mentally, and often physically, active in their learning through activities that involve them in gathering information, thinking, and problem solving. — The Greenwood Dictionary of Education
Farman, J. (2013, October 3). A Manifesto for Active Learning. The Chronicle for Higher Education. Retrieved from
Farman’s reflections on the positive impact of active learning in the classroom. He shares his experience in helping students learn how to learn and foster critical thinking by incorporating active teaching and learning strategies and useful classroom technology.
O’Neal, C. & Pinder-Grover, T. (n.d.) Active learning continuum. Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan. Retrieved from
A concise guide to active learning techniques. The range of techniques is graphically represented from simple, low class time commitment to complex, high class time commitment.
Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415. Retrieved from
The results are in. An analysis of 225 studies of student performance in STEM classes using traditional versus active learning methods reveals that active learning significantly improves student performance. Traditional lecture-based classes have an increased failure rate of 55% over active learning-based classes.
Mills, B.J. (2012). Active learning strategies in face-to-face courses. IDEA Papers. Retrieved from
This article provides an overview of active learning, with definitions, suggestions, and examples of how to incorporate six specific types of active learning strategies into your classroom.