Active Learning Techniques in Online Courses

Active learning is an engaging form of learning that involves higher-order thinking skills such as evaluation, synthesis, and analysis. It is much more effective than the passive learning that occurs when students simply listen to a lecture or watch a powerpoint presentation. When engaged in active learning, students are forced to process and apply the information that they learned.

How can professors create opportunities for active learning in online courses?

Mark Trego, Active Learning Technician at Northwest Iowa Community College, suggests dividing students into several small groups and asking each group to discuss a specific topic with their fellow group-members on discussion boards. Each group should then present their findings to the rest of the class. Finally, all groups should critique their peers’ presentations.

For a more detailed explanation of active learning and its applications, see Mark Trego’s full video below.

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