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Active learning

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Facilitating active learning in online learning environments

Active Learning
Engaging Students in Online Courses


This resource is meant to aid in identifying, practicing, and implementing research-based active learning approaches. It can be used in both online and face-to-face learning environments. This guide should help you create and recognize opportunities to integrate active learning activities that facilitate desired student learning outcomes into your course in planned and dynamic ways.


Case Studies

The Case Studies approach has student teams review a written study of a real-world scenario containing a field-related problem or situation. Case studies usually include a brief history of the situation and present a dilemma the main character is facing. Team members apply course concepts to identify and evaluate alternative approaches to solving the problem.

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Minute Paper/Muddiest Point

The Minute Paper/Muddiest Point approaches have students write quick responses to questions to help instructors gain insight or understanding of content. Questions could include: “What was the most important thing you learned today?“; “What important question remains unanswered?”; or “What was the muddiest point in _______ ?

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The Fishbowl Discussion is a teaching strategy that encourages full student participation, reflection, and depth of knowledge. A small group of students is selected to be the fish (in the fishbowl), while the rest of the class will be observers (out of the fishbowl). Students in the bowl participate in a discussion by responding to an instructor's prompt. Students outside of the bowl listen and reflect on the alternative viewpoints.

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Pro and Con Grid

The Pro and Con Grid approach has students follow a decision-making process by reviewing an issue, creating a list of pro and con arguments, and deciding based on the weight and analysis of those points. A review of students’ lists reveals the depth and breadth of their analyses, capacity for objectivity, and strength of their decision-making skills.

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The Think/Pair/Share approach poses a question, asks students to reflect on the question, and has them share their ideas with others. Think has students reflect before speaking to organize their thoughts. Pair and Share asks students to compare and contrast their thoughts with others and rehearse their responses before sharing them with the whole class.

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Results: 1-13 of 13

No.Document TitleIDUpdatedViews
1Active Learning in Large Courses1040332023-12-273350
2Active Learning in Online Courses1044042023-12-264569
3Using Online Asynchronous Discussions to Increase Student Engagement & Active Learning1040342023-12-275353
4Background Knowledge Probe in Large Courses (online)1035992023-12-262981
5Defining Features Matrix in Large Courses (online)1035842023-12-212821
6Online Peer Editing1079542023-12-213221
7Minute Paper/Muddiest Point (online)1044072023-12-213316
8Think/Pair/Share (online)1044012023-12-214097
9Case Studies (online)1044052023-12-212718
10Fishbowl Discussion (online)1079822023-12-216320
11Minute Paper/Muddiest Point in Large Courses (online)1033682023-12-213760
12Pro and Con Grid (online)1044082023-12-183126
13Pro and Con Grid in Large Courses (online)1037752023-12-013032

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