What is the first image that pops into your mind when someone says ‘classroom’? Most of the answers will fall into the spectrum of lectures, exams, black board, and more recently Zoom lessons. However, with liberal education slowly taking centre stage, traditional methods of classroom learning are slowly getting replaced by Active Learning methods, which places importance in a student’s learning experience.
Active learning is any learning activity which encourages the participation of a student. In Active Learning, students interact with the learning process, instead of passively consuming information. Instead of interminable lectures and mugging, students are encouraged to participate, discuss, actively engage in creativity to take in the curriculum. As a result, a student can soak in more information in a manner that is reliable and delivers results.
So, what can students gain out of active learning?
1. Become enthusiastic about learning.
Learning does not need to be boring or repetitive. With Active Learning, students are engaged in activities, interactive sessions, instructional games to consume information. As a result, both the student and the educator are more involved and enthusiastic about the classroom. This leads to higher retention of course material as well.
2. Learn collaborative skills
Active learning methods require students to collaborate with one another in the classroom. Social interactions become bountiful, and students learn invaluable social skills in the process. When they engage and discuss with the course content as a group, students can broaden their perspectives, and bounce ideas off one another. Active learning encourages immersive collaboration within a classroom with the help of group activities.
3. Engage with teachers productively
In Active Learning methods, educators or teachers can give instant feedback to a student in the classroom. By interacting with teachers with their ideas, students get necessary attention, and their ideas are heard. Active Learning engages both the student and the teacher, and the knowledge transfer happens seamlessly with the help of useful tools. It also results in an inclusive classroom where all students are given a voice and space to voice their views.
4. Develop critical and creative thinking skills
Active learning methods encourage students to think for themselves. Critical thinking and active learning go hand in hand and a student benefits vastly from learning critical thinking skills through active learning methods. Active learning essentially moves the needle of learning – from passively consuming information to actively engaging with information, sources, and perspectives. When students are encourages to share ideas and build strong arguments, they become creative with their outcome as well!
5. Take pride and ownership of your studies
Active learning steers students to take control of their studies. When students work together as a group, debate, or research an idea, they automatically invest more towards their learning. They are made to put in more effort towards their learning and not just mug information from textbooks. As a result, students indirectly become lifelong learners and can take pride in their outcomes in the classroom.