Setting up Active Learning Techniques in your Classroom


In brief: Active learning techniques are easy to implement but still encourage students to think critically and independently. When designing an active learning activity in your course, first, it is important to carefully think about what you want your students to learn, then shape the activity to encourage this learning. Organizing a Lesson with Active Learning In order to make the most of active learning, you will ideally be teaching in a [...]

Active Learning Techniques


In brief: There is a wide variety of active learning techniques that help develop different levels of knowledge and skills. Many of these techniques can be used with large classes and without much advanced planning. Common Active Learning Techniques What do active learning techniques look like logistically and what procedures and steps are needed to prepare your students and the classroom?  The following videos illustrate six popular active learning techniques to help [...]

Tips for Getting Started with Active Learning in your Class


In brief: For getting started with Active Learning: Start small; Explain why you are doing it; Design activities that have a clear task; Consider how you will form groups; Prepare clear instructions; Plan for transitions; Plan for mishaps; Use your time wisely; Be flexible; Don't give up if it does not go down how you planned; Start small Don’t try to implement too many activities or anything complicated the first couple [...]

Active Learning Classrooms


In brief: Active Learning Classrooms should: be flexible learning spaces equipped with moveable furniture to allow for different group formations and flexibility in class set-up; include a number of whiteboards to facilitate documenting of individual and group work and sharing of ideas within and between groups. be high-tech rooms to support collaborative, team-based learning. Active Learning Classrooms Active Learning Classrooms (ALC), also referred to as "smart classrooms" or "flexible classrooms”, are [...]

How does Active Learning Promote Teaching Excellence?


In brief: Passively listening to a lecture is not useful for promoting higher-level thinking skills such as synthesis, evaluation, inquiry, and creation. Students learn best when there is a balance between lectures and learner-centered activities, and when the activities are varied and support higher-order thinking skills. Research suggests that active learning techniques improve student grades and retention rates, and promote critical thinking skills. Advances in cognitive psychology and our understanding of brain [...]

What is Active Learning?


In brief: Active Learning is an approach to teaching and learning that: places the needs, interests, attitudes, and experiences of the students at the center of instruction planning; uses instructional strategies that are student-centered instead of instructor-centered; engages students in activities that help develop higher-order thinking skills through the application of knowledge, analysis, and/or synthesis. Active learning defined Active learning is an instructional approach designed to facilitate student engagement and the development [...]

The Course Alignment Process


In brief: A course alignment exercise consists of a series of steps to critically review and confirm that all key components are aligned with the course learning outcomes. Creating and Validating Course Alignments Whether you are creating a new course or validating the alignment of an existing course, the process is the same. The first step is to review your course learning outcomes. It is important to begin with student learning outcome statements that 1) identify the precise knowledge, skills and [...]

How does Course Alignment Promote Teaching Excellence?


In brief: Conducting a course alignment exercise allows Instructors to create a curriculum blueprint; helps Instructors validate that the assessment activities evaluate the right knowledge, skills, and attributes and at the right level of complexity; confirms if teaching resources are optimal for promoting a quality learning experience that supports student success. Course Alignment Exercise Meyers and Nulty (2009) identify five design principles that are key to effective course design in higher education. [...]

What is Course Alignment?


In brief: Course alignment is a quality assurance check of a course design Course alignment is an analysis of the key components of a course to determine that they work as an aggregate body to meet the overall curriculum objectives An alignment exercise can be performed to validate a specific evaluation, a course plan, or an entire program curriculum. *Note: this module focuses on alignment in a course plan Course alignment [...]

Planning a Lesson


In brief: Lesson plans outline the activities you and your students will do during one class session. A lesson is one component of a unit of instruction that most likely includes other activities out of class. As such, it’s important to design the whole unit before planning individual lessons. As the content expert, you should plan for the best use of your limited time with students. You should also ensure your activities reflect the [...]