It is important to analyze how and what students should learn in class or out of class, either independently or with others, as well as how to conduct in-class and out-of-class activities that effectively employ more active learning strategies.
Before deciding on an active learning strategy, analyze the need. Ask yourself:
The first step is to identify the topics you wish to apply active learning strategies. Additionally, identify the overarching questions about this topic.
Next, define the learning objectives and outcomes for each topic:
Now that you have clearly identified learning objectives and outcomes, you can begin to plan and design the activity through considering the following questions:
Next, plan the sequence of learning events that will best meet the learning objectives and outcomes. Active learning does not have to replace traditional lecturing; instead, it may be interspersed with the ways you usually conduct the class. For example, you could lecture for 10-15 minutes, carry out an active learning activity, and, then, return to lecturing. Or, one week you could lecture, but assign an active learning activity for homework; then, the next week, you could flip your class and carry out active learning exercises with students already familiar with the lecture material during class time. There are many ways to sequence the learning events. Your job is to carefully think through the planning and delivery of these events to support your learners.
You should analyze the effectiveness of the active learning activity and assess whether or not it aided student understanding and met the associated learning objectives. Please see the next section for specific information on how to complete this evaluation and assessments.