Active vs. Passive Learning in Online Courses


Passive learning can be described as students taking part in course elements that include solely the taking in of information. Examples of this include: reading, listing to a lecture, watching a video, and looking at pictures or PowerPoints. Students learn at the level by taking in the information presented.

Active learning can include anything that the students are doing with the presented course content to enhance their understanding of the topic. Some classroom activities that encourage active learning are: online discussions/debates, group projects, concept mapping, role playing, content related games, problem solving, visual listing (e.g. Pros and Cons), and worksheets encouraging the application of new knowledge (equations, formulas, etc.).


Best Practices