Active Learning and Active Lecturing

OTEI Resources:

What is active learning?  It is literally any way that students learn that is not passive / disengaged.  There are many ways to support student learning, inside or out of class, individually or with peers.  We have some instructions on particular types of active learning below.  Choose the activity that is right for you, your disciplinary needs, and your students!

  • This Polling Guide will help you poll students and get the most out of your questions. Polling is a powerful method for large lecture over other methods, especially to help students with cognitively challenging content.
  • Peer Instruction is a method of building on students thinking and working with their peers.  Developed by Physics professor Eric Mazur, this combines polling and quick discussion to involve everyone in class. The research on effectiveness is impressive.
  • Consult Our Discussion guide for ideas on doing pairs, small groups, or whole class discussions.
  • Check out the Guide to Reflection Activities.  This guide is organized in categories, based on the outcomes you are looking for.

External Resources:

The Patricia K Cross Academy has a library of short descriptions / videos for class activity--which you can search by learning outcome category!

Clemson Library online books:

Just-in-time Teaching: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy. [ebook]  - by Scott Simpkins and Mark H. Maier (2010)

The JiTT pedagogy "develop[s] an intentional, direct linkage between in-class and out-of-class activities via preparatory web-based assignments—originally called “warm-ups” or “pref lights” ... but now commonly referred to as “JiTT exercises” or simply “JiTTs”—that generally require students to read, view, or do something and answer related questions." The feedback from online submissions assists the instructor in directing the class session's focus and involving students more fully.

Teach students how to learn strategies you can incorporate into any course to improve student metacognition, study skills, and motivation . By McGuire, S., Angelo, T., & McGuire, S. (2016). Stylus.