Active learning is any approach to instruction in which all students are asked to engage in the learning process. Active learning can take many forms and be executed in any discipline. Commonly, students will engage in small or large activities centered around writing, talking, problem solving, or reflecting. Active learning stands in contrast to "traditional" modes of instruction in which students are passive recipients of knowledge from an expert.
A flipped classroom is one method of active learning structured around the idea that lecture or direct instruction is not the best use of the time the student spends in class. Instead, the traditional mode of learning is ‘flipped’ and the student is introduced to content before class, freeing time spent in the classroom for activities that involve higher order thinking and use of the content that was previewed before class.
Team-Based Learning (TBL)
Team-based learning (TBL) is an active learning pedagogical strategy that engages student knowledge through individual testing and group collaboration typically presented in a three-step cycle: preparation, in-class readiness assurance testing (RAT), and application-focused exercises completed in teams in the classroom. This process motivates students by holding them accountable to themselves and one another, while introducing them to a variety of thought processes devoted to a single problem.
Case-based Collaborative Learning (CBCL) Modules
Case Based Collaborative Learning (CBCL) is an active learning pedagogical strategy that provides a structured, student-centered approach to learning challenging material within realistic scenarios from the field. In the CBCL classroom, students identify and wrestle with concepts as they appear in reality. In the true-to-life, well-crafted case, these concepts may be buried amid relevant and/or irrelevant details. In the field, concepts rarely surface in “textbook” form, and problems of practice are increasingly confronted by teams of professionals who bring different levels of expertise to a given situation. Accordingly, Case-Based Collaborative Learning presents student groups with relevant field-specific puzzles and affords them a clear structure for solving these puzzles. Students work through complex material together, apply the concepts they gleaned individually the night before, and reach new understandings as a group.
Peer Instruction (PI) is an evidence-based, student-centered pedagogy originally introduced in 1991 by Eric Mazur in his physics classroom at Harvard University. It’s a highly engaging, active learning strategy that encourages students to create knowledge among themselves.
Science Cases and Problem-Based Learning (PBL)
Case studies and problem-based learning (PBL) are active learning pedagogical strategies that provide students an opportunity to develop superior skills in question formulation and data analysis while they learn as much content as with traditional methods. Using these approaches, students collaboratively analyze a scenario that presents a biological issue within a realistic setting. Students then conduct investigations and report findings.