What is Active Learning?

Posted by Natalie Donalds,

March 1, 2016

Active learning promotes doing instead of passively listening. It is a learning technique that has been shown in many studies to improve the performance of learners. With active learning techniques, learners learn more, retain the information better, learn faster, and have more fun doing it.

It is a technique that is used in many schools and teaching establishments. But it is very different to the style of teaching where a person stands in front of a group of people and talks. This is passive learning, where the students watch and listen to what is being said in the hope that they will take it in. It works with some learners, but active learning is much more effective.

The process involves getting the learner to take part in the experience of learning - answering questions, completing a quiz, solving a puzzle, taking part in a discussion, etc. It has many benefits.


Benefits Of Active Learning:

Improves knowledge of content and concepts

  • People learn faster and better through Active Learning. This is partly due to the fact we learn better by doing. By putting theory into practise, we reinforce knowledge and skills.
  • Helps learners grasp complex concepts quicker – because knowledge is built up, reinforced, and put into action.
  • Active learning forcers learners to think for themselves encouraging critical and creative thinking abilities. Techniques involve asking the learner to apply theory that is learned into real-life applications helping the learner connect theory to real life

Creates a positive attitude towards the learning experience

  • Studies have shown that learners not only prefer active learning techniques to other forms of learning, but they also enjoy them
  • Learners are able to see their progress which builds self-esteem, confidence and the motivation to continue
  • Abstract theories come to life with practical applications such as Active Learning, making the learning experience more relevant and enjoyable
Active learning for mobile

Active Learning And Mobile

There are many ways to apply active learning techniques to courses and lessons, including through the use of technology. Mobile phones are the perfect example, and the perfect application for active learning. Phones are not like other devices which you use passively – such as a television. Instead, users constantly interact with their phones – tapping, scrolling, typing, etc. This presents fantastic opportunities to implement active learning in your courses and lessons.

You can ask questions to check that learners understand what is being taught, and include quizzes to recap information and reinforce knowledge. Including features like these in your courses will help learners progress quicker and get better results.