As the education realm continues to evolve, we see different teaching and learning approaches
being adopted in educational institutions worldwide. From educational apps to top-notch
technologies like AI and VR, there is a lot that the education industry is embracing. One of the
teaching methods that has gained popularity in modern times is active learning.
Many instructors and educationists emphasize the need for active learning in today’s era. Active
learning is key to producing future professionals who are well-bred to solve future problems.
The method of instruction is not only beneficial to students but to educators too.
With active learning, teachers can relax knowing that students are fully engaged in what they
are learning. In addition, teachers won’t find it stressful to explain complex concepts since active
learning helps students to easily decipher material. However, to effectively implement the
learning strategy, it’s essential to understand what it is.
Active Learning & Why It’s Essential
Active learning is a student-centered approach to learning where students’ effort contributes up
to 70% of the lesson and the rest is contributed by the teacher. Active learning puts more
emphasis on a student’s involvement and participation in the learning process.
It is a constructive method since learners actively participate in the learning process. In this
learning strategy, students don’t solely rely on a teacher’s contribution i.e explaining concepts
as learners listen, but there are interactions and discussions between students and a teacher.
Active learning is associated with a range of benefits for example it can foster deeper learning,
critical thinking, and independent thinking. Besides that, it allows students to develop problem-
solving skills that are beneficial for better academic performance and later life.
Generally, fostering active learning avenues in a classroom can help students stretch from
being passive listeners to active participants. It also allows them to fully become part of the
learning process where they learn what, how, and why, plus the application of the knowledge in
the real world. With that, every teacher must try to foster active learning in a classroom.
Incredible Ways Teachers Can Promote Active Learning Among Students
There are several ways through which teachers can promote active learning among students of
all ages and levels. These approaches not only improve learning experiences but also enhance
engagement within a classroom. The Sureshot approaches to promoting active learning include;
- Asking Open-ended Questions
Open-ended questions are a type of question that requires more than just a yes or no. They
generally call for an elaboration that includes the answer and the why. Introducing your students
to the reciprocal questioning technique can alter any learning method and environment.
Students will not only listen and digest material but will also understand its application in normal
Asking open-ended questions is an effective way to challenge learners to think critically and
beyond their comfort zone. It can help them see things from a different perspective and perhaps
in a way that renders concepts and knowledge essential in life. It can help students attain
SMART Goals for example performing better academically.
As a teacher, you can ask questions after explaining a concept or before you start elaborating
on a topic. This will help prepare the learners’ minds to fully participate in a lesson rather than
being passive listeners.
- Promoting Curiosity & Inquisitiveness
Curious and inquisitive minds promote active learning in a classroom. Like imagination, curiosity
is a trait that pushes students to get interested in what they are learning. On the other hand,
inquisitiveness pushes them to ask questions and enhances their eagerness to learn new
When students are curious and inquisitive, it allows them to engage fully in a lesson. Some of
the best ways teachers can foster curiosity and inquisitiveness include altering the learning
environment, asking questions, and using visual aids.
It should be noted that fostering curiosity and inquisitiveness isn’t a one-time thing, but teachers
have to, again and again, find reliable ways of ensuring both. That highly depends on the topic
and the learning goals.
- Group Learning, Assignments, Discussions & Projects
Fostering collaboration in a classroom is one of the best teaching strategies teachers can
leverage in the modern world. Collaboration generally enhances learning experiences and
outcomes and some of the best ways to promote collaboration in a classroom include group
Apart from that, group assignments, discussions, and projects all foster collaboration.
Collaborative avenues not only alter learning experiences but also promote active learning.
During such interactions, students share knowledge, assess perspectives, and come up with the
best solutions. Collaboration also ensures equal participation in a lesson or project. During the
process, there is greater comprehension and memory.
When it comes to tackling intricate concepts, group learning and discussions help students
develop a positive attitude toward learning.
- Using Interactive Technologies & Mediums
The advancement of technology offers a wide range of learning opportunities that render
learning immersive and meaningful. Today, technologies like VR (virtual reality), AI (Artificial
Intelligence), gamification, and apps provide interactive learning avenues. The use of
technology in education allows students to study from anywhere and at any time.
It also alters the learning environment into a sophisticated avenue for learning and sharing
knowledge. The latest e-learning statistics indicate that global e-learning marketing will be worth
$325 by 2025. In addition, 41% of students in 2020 asserted that the quality of their college’s e-
learning experience was better than their physical classroom learning.
To elucidate, the use of laptops, mobile phones, and educational apps are key drivers of the e-
learning industry. With these technologies and apps, students can interactively learn and
engage wholly in what they are studying. They can also learn at their own pace, revisit topics
and ponder on what they have learned. Besides this, gamified teaching approaches also foster
active and pro-deep learning.
- Rotating Chair Discussions
Rotating chair group discussions are a learning approach where students build on others’ ideas.
With this learning approach, students sit in groups where they attentively listen to another
student and each takes a turn to add on another’s (previous speaker’s) ideas.
Group discussions are an effective learning avenue since students listen to others and evaluate
their ideas before they air out theirs. In this way, students become active learners rather than
simply sitting and listening to others.
Apart from this, another approach for promoting active learning among students is introducing
role-playing. Role-playing is a learning approach that involves imagining one’s self as another
person. It is generally putting one’s self in another person’s shoes. Role-playing can promote
active learning since students follow scripts recite them, and position themselves to fit a
If they aren’t part of your classroom activities, you may want to give debates a try. Debating is
an active learning approach because it fully engages students. During the process, students are
able to listen carefully, reason, think, and reflect on their arguments before putting them forward.
Debates also hone critical thinking skills and allow students to make more informed choices and
argue professionally. They also give a chance to students to explain their standpoint. Instead of
a teacher taking a lead, debates allow students to take the lead and this fosters active learning.
To encapsulate, active learning is an approach to teaching that engages students with the
course material. Here, students think outside the box and decipher concepts to come up with
their own (meaningful) opinions. Active learning experiences offer a competitive advantage to
students as they put more emphasis on their participation and contribution rather than
depending on the teachers. This promotes active learning, enhances memory, and fosters
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