Active Learning in Online Courses


Active learning is an activity in a course that goes beyond passively listening to a lecture or a video.  It is a learning technique that challenges students to engage through mental contributions, hands-on activities, or the process of investigation, discovery and interpretation.  While listening to lectures or watching relevant videos are generally passive learning on their own, these are methods that can be enhanced with the thoughtful addition of active learning techniques and activities.

Strategies for incorporating active learning into blended and online courses can include well-conceived discussion prompts, synchronous online meetings, cooperative group work, “flipping” classrooms, adaptive assessments, virtual interactions, and developing problem-based learning assignments or activities.

The following topics give an overview of a few of the different methods, pedagogy and techniques instructors can employ to engage and enhance their online courses.