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Resources for Effective Teaching

Topic:  Active Learning

General information
To understand what active learning is we can first address what is not active learning. Active Learning is not passive learning or having the brain focus on one sensory input. Active learning is having students doing things and thinking about what they are doing whether it is interactive or reflective. Active learning includes rehearsal, application, creation, retrieval, and critical thinking. The end result is knowledge. This website is designed to help you learn more about active learning and provide ways you can integrate active learning in your course.

Links to OSET Resource Pages:
Learning Studio Classrooms at UNM: This link takes you to the OSET webpage that describes the learning studio classrooms at UNM designed for collaborative learning and how to request teaching a class in it.

Using Active Learning in Classrooms: This website describes what active learning is and ways one can apply it in the classroom. This page also lists an abundance of other resources to inspire your use of active learning. Included are also numerous hyperlinks to guide you to interest specific sites.

Learning Strategies Triangle: This 4 page document guides readers to combining interactive and reflective techniques of active learning along with acquisition of information so that teachers can appeal to different learning types and maximize the learning experience.

Using Peer Learning Facilitators to Engage Students During In-Class Active Learning: This link will take you to the 2010 Success in the Classroom presentation abstracts. From there, scroll down to page 11 to find a one page abstract exploring the benefits of utilizing  peer learning facilitators for classes using active learning; Aurora Pun, Paul Farnsworth, Dusty Brooks, Courtney Martinez, and Bobbie Jean Reid, University of New Mexico.

First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom: This essay discusses questions that instructors should address on the first day of class in order to gain student buy-in for active learning; Smith, G.A. (2008). National Teaching and Learning Forum, 17(5), 1-4.

Write (think)- Pair- Share: A one page guide on using think-pair-share to make lectures more active.

Workshops Related to this Topic (check the OSET events calendar for upcoming offerings)
Active Learning and Critical Thinking: Methods for Any Classroom


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FacNet Resources – UNM faculty who are happy to help in this area:
UNM faculty have volunteered to offer one-on-one advice about active learning and will welcome you to watch them teach in their classrooms.  Contact OSET and we will make arrangements for you to meet.

Click here if you would like to volunteer your expertise to colleagues by joining FacNet.


Links to Useful Resources Outside UNM:

Scenes from a Classroom: Active Learning: Instructors new to active learning will find a comprehensive list of strategies to choose from followed by recommendations to help get them started, while those currently using active learning can extend their practice by considering new contexts and applications. This website also features "scenes" that address a variety of concerns that instructors may have about using active learning and suggestions for dealing with potential issues; Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota.

Active Learning Ideas: This site provides general information and in-depth examples of active learning techniques; BYU.

Active Learning in Higher Education Journal: This journal provides monthly issues devoted to development, innovation, and good practices in higher education.

Active Learning with PowerPoint: Visit this tutorial to learn about how PowerPoint can be used to increase active learning in the classroom. This site also offers strategies, examples of games that can be played using PowerPoint, and handouts; University of Minnesota.

Essays on Teaching Excellence published by the Professional and Oganizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD):

From Passive to Active Learning: Helping Student to Make the Shift. Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin. 2005-2006.

Active Learning: Beyond the Classroom. Edward Neal, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1995-1996.