Active Learning in Your CourseThe Active Learning in Your Course resource — created by staff in DoIT Academic Technology — is meant to aid in the identification, practice, and implementation of research-based active learning approaches. It can be used in both online and face-to-face learning environments. This guide should help you to create and recognize opportunities to integrate active learning activities that facilitate desired student learning outcomes into your course in both planned and dynamic ways.  — DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION


Design — adapted from the book Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses by L. Dee Fink — provides a design framework to help you structure active learning activities within your course. It also provides a classification system — adapted from the article, “The Active Learning Continuum: Choosing Activities to Engage Students in the Classroom” by Charles Bonwell and Tracey Sutherland — to help in the selection of active learning approaches based the complexity of tasks for instructors.

Activities — taken from the books Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook For College Teachers by Thomas Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, and Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty by Elizabeth F. Barkley, Claire Howell Major, and K. Patricia Cross — presents activities you can use to address specific learning outcomes. Each approach includes a basic description and overview of its outcomes, along with steps to guide its use in your course. Each technique in this resource was selected based on three criteria: ease of design, ease of implementation, and time needed to respond to activity. The content is organized around five outcomes that you might want to facilitate through your course: Analysis and Critical Thinking, Discussion, Prior Knowledge, Problem-Solving, and Writing. To use this resource, readers should: first, select the desired outcome(s) they wish to facilitate in their course; then, review the different approaches within those categories for ideas about which technique could be used to facilitate these outcomes.

Strategies — taken from the book Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James M. Lang — draws from learning sciences and teaching experience to develop Small Teaching — a set of principles to create small changes to teaching that can have a positive impact on student learning. Lang offers three general categories for easy-to-implement learning activities and other changes: Knowledge, Understanding, and Inspiration. These approaches require minimal preparation and grading and may be implemented immediately. Methods may take the form of brief activities, one-time interventions in a course, or small modifications in course design or communication with students.