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.).
- Ask meaningful questions that focus on the deeper meaning instead of the minor details.
- Give students opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other.
- Create meaningful activities that give students the opportunity to apply new knowledge.
- Create multiple ways of interacting with students. Be available to guide and assist as students work through the coursework.
- Faculty Interaction
- Module 3: Active Teaching and Learning, in “Getting Results” course, offered through League.org
- Using Active Learning in the Classroom. Chapter 8 in Instruction at FSU: A Guide to Teaching & Learning Practices, Florida State University, Distance@FSU