Active learning is any approach to instruction in which all students are asked to engage in the learning process. Active learning stands in contrast to "traditional" modes of instruction in which students are passive recipients of knowledge from an expert. 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: Thinking Together
Using active learning strategies does not require abandoning the lecture format. Rather, adding small active learning strategies can make lecturing more effective for student learning. These activities give students just a minute or two to check their understanding of recent material, practice a skill or highlight gaps in their knowledge before giving an explanation.