Active Learning Strategies Sorted by Goal
I. Activities to Learn Concepts and Practice Skills Taught in Class
The instructor provides statements, readings, proofs, or other material that contains errors. The students are charged with finding and correcting the errors. Concepts that students commonly misunderstand are well suited for this activity.
Example of a statement correction activity from a chemistry course
Example of a statement correction using images/diagrams
The goal of this activity is for students to order a set of item that have a logical order, such as steps in a biological process, a series of historical events, or logical steps in an argument. As one strategy, the instructor provides students with a list of items written on strips of paper for the students to sort. An instructor can also leave one step “blank” and require that students fill it in. Removable labels with printed items also work well for this activity.
II. Activities to Increase Student Involvement, Engagement, and Inclusion
During class, the instructor asks a multiple-choice question. Students can respond by raising the appropriate number of fingers or by holding up a colored card, where colors correspond to the different answers.
Example of a multiple choice polling question (from chemistry):
III. Activities to Help Students Synthesize and Review a Week’s Worth of Content
This activity prompts students to formally describe the relationship between concepts. Typically, students are provided with a list of terms. They are asked to arrange the terms on paper and draw arrows between related concepts, labeling each arrow to verbally explain the relationship between the two terms connected by the arrow. Concept maps are particularly useful to help students make connections between seemingly abstract concepts or concepts learned at different times during the semester.
Software for creating concept maps:
Concept map example 1
Concept map example 2
A diagram representing logical sets pictorially as circles or closed curves, with common elements of the sets being represented by the areas of overlap among the circles.
Example of a Venn diagram (from chemistry):
- CTL Help Request Form
- Programs and Services
- Grants to Support Teaching
- Active Learning
- Inclusive Teaching
- Instructional Technology
- Learning Design
- For Graduate Students and Undergraduates
- Student Learning Resources
- chatGPT and AI
- Contact and Visit