Icon Active Learning Strategies

Active Learning Strategies are topic focused techniques that work. City Tech faculty are encouraged to share their best practices with colleagues by contacting us.

Place Based Learning

Site visits (field trips), well designed, can enhance a specific learning objective. Sites can be used as an activity to introduce students to a key topic or as a culminating activity that extends the learning beyond the text. When a learning assignment is well integrated into the coursework, students are asked to perform a task as part of the site planning phase; students, during visits, are expected to observe key elements through recording and discussion; after the experience, students will be asked to reflect and make connections to the topic within the syllabus.

Learning Logs – How am I doing?

A learning log is a quick way for faculty to engage students to take ownership of their learning on a regular basis. Estela Rojas-Elgueta, EdD, Mathematics professor and Scholar On Campus, encourages faculty to use the information provided-both affective and cognitive-as a barometer to adjust teaching strategies with the goal of increasing student learning outcomes.

Names Count – Yours and Mine!

Students will take more educational risks if they feel ‘safe’ in their environment. When faculty take the time to learn students’ names, and in turn expect that students will learn theirs, they are sending a clear message that each is a valued individual in the teaching/learning process.

Office Hours – Why students drop by?

Posting office hours is part of the expectation that students have access to faculty when they need guidance. It doesn’t guarantee that students will visit. Faculty find that students avoid going to the ‘office’, either because it is not part of what they do or because of some previous negative connotation. Faculty who invite students, one or two for a mini-tutorial, have a better ‘show and satisfaction’ rate.

Planning for Class – Who Benefits?

Everyone benefits! Students and faculty will be more involved if they have a sense of direction and there is a plan. Whether the content is new or review, planning is one key to successful classroom management and learning. Developing your teaching style includes creativity and organization and knowledge of the discipline and asking for feedback, informally and formally. The move visible the planning, the more likely students and faculty will recognize that the stage was for learning.

Skills Building: Write-Pair-Share

Active learning strategies can encourage students to take ownership of their ideas; engage in discussions with a neighbor, testing and refining their understanding of a concept; and confidently sharing their knowledge based on the evidence presented. This technique is particularly useful in large lecture style classroom settings in which flow is forward and back directed and you refocus students on the sideways.

Student Learning Objectives: How to write one?

Active learning strategies can encourage students to take ownership of their ideas; engage in discussions with a neighbor, testing and refining their understanding of a concept; and confidently sharing their knowledge based on the evidence presented. This technique is particularly useful in large lecture style classroom settings in which flow is forward and back directed and you refocus students on the sideways.