Session Design and Active Learning

What is Active Learning?

Active learning occurs when a person/learner takes control of their learning experience. Active learning includes all teaching modalities that are not lecture (i.e.: pairs, small group discussion, large group discussion, TBL, PBL, and independent learning). Lecture is defined as “instruction or verbal discourse by a speaker before a large group of learners” (AAMC).

Why Active Learning? 

Active learning helps students reflect on their understanding by encouraging them to make connections between their prior knowledge and new concepts. Often, active learning tasks ask students to make their thinking explicit, which also allows instructors to gauge student learning. 

Video Modules about Designing an Active Learning Session

The following modules provide an overview of Instructional Design and Active Learning.  The key purpose of these modules is to support the development and integration of intentional active learning instructional strategies into SMHS curricula. 

Framing the Learning

The module focuses on understanding the learner and the learning environment.

Watch the "Framing the Learning" video.

Learning Objectives

This module focuses on crafting learning objectives that inform an active learning experience.

Watch the "Learning Objectives" video

Learning Objectives worksheet

Teaching Framework

This module will introduce you to the P-LHET framework for designing class sessions.

Watch the "Teaching Framework" video

PLHET Design Worksheet (has tables for formatting) (Accessible version found here)

Learning Styles

This module includes an overview of Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory (ELT), his Learning Styles Inventory (LSI), and some additional resources.

Watch the "Learning Styles" video

More Information on LSI Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(92), 193-212.

Active Learning Resources