Active Learning/Student Engagement

Active learning is the process of involving all students in activities that encourage them to develop a deeper understanding of content by working with and reflecting upon the material being presented.   With the active learning process, students transition from being mere recipients of information to being participants actively engaged with new information in a learning environment. Simply stated, active learning is anything students do during a class session other than passively listen to a lecture.  There is no one “correct” way to achieve active learning in the classroom. Within the class the instructor selects suitable active learning strategies, dependent upon the lesson objectives and classroom situation. Such activities may take minutes or the entire class period and may involve the students as individuals or in groups. This section provides links to articles and sites that describe the benefits of active learning and provide examples of student engagement techniques.

ArticlesHelpful Links

101 Interactive Techniques
University of Central Florida Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning. (n.d.). Interactive Techniques. Retrieved from University of Central Florida Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning:

Active Learning
Study Guides and Strategies. (n.d.). Active Learning. Retrieved from Study Guides and Strategies:

Classroom Activities for Active Learning
University of North Carolina Center for Faculty Excellence. (2009, November). Classroom Activities for Active Learning. Retrieved from For Your Consideration: Suggestions and Reflections on Teaching and Learning:

Five Characteristics of Learner-Centered Teaching
Weimer PhD, M. (2012, August 8). Five Characteristics of Learner-Centered Teaching. Retrieved from Faculty Focus:

Lecture as Active Learning
Downing, S. (n.d.). Lecture as Active Learning. Retrieved from On Course:

Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction
Felder, R., & Brent, R. (1996). Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction. Retrieved from North Carolina State University:

Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement
de Frondeveille, T. (2009, March 11). Ten Steps to Better Student Engagement. Retrieved from EDUTOPIA: The George Lucas Educational Foundation:

Active Learning – Michigan State University Office of Faculty & Organizational Development

Active Learning – University of Washington’s Center for Instructional Development & Research

Active Learning Activities – University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education

Collaborative Learning Structures – National Institute for Science Education: College Level One

Engaging Students – Boston University’s Center for Excellent & Innovation in Teaching

Strategies for Increasing Class Participation – Lansing Community College’s Center for Teaching Excellence

Techniques of Active Learning – California State University