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Active Learning Classrooms (ALC) :: Engaging Students in Active Learning Classrooms (ALC)

Guides for activities you can use in large active learning classrooms.

Active Learning Classroom (ALC) Activities

These resources present guidance on ways of facilitating active learning in large active learning classrooms on campus. These resources are organized around four types of learning activities that support:

  • Prior Knowledge activities assess students' learning of facts and principles. They measure how well students are learning the content they are studying and reveals how they are managing the accumulation of knowledge into their already established structures. Using these approaches, instructors can gauge how  well the content is being or has been learned. 
  • Analysis and Critical Thinking activities assess students' skills at breaking down information, questions, or problems in order understand them more fully and solve them more efficiently. Using these approaches, instructors can measure how well students are able interpret or analyze information and arrive at an informed decision or judgement.
  • Problem-Solving activities assess how well students can analyze, evaluate, and apply information toward the goal of solving a problem or drawing a conclusion based on available evidence or information. Using these approaches, instructors can evaluate how well students can work within a given framework to come to a solution individually or collaboratively.
  • Discussion activities assess how well students can formulate their ideas and communicate them clearly. Unlike large classroom discussions, these approaches place students in smaller groups with the goal of providing them a structure for participation, opportunities to formulate and gather their thoughts, share and develop ideas with other, and rehearse their thoughts within a safer environment. Using these approaches, instructors can evaluate how well students recall, synthesize, and apply information in responding to a discussion prompt.
Active Learning Approaches
Critical Thinking
Discussions
Prior Knowledge
Problem-Solving
Analytic Memo Buzz Group Background Knowledge Probe Analytic Team
Categorizing Grid Round Robin Empty Outlines Case Studies
Content, Form, & Function Talking Chips Focused Listing Send-A-Problem
Defining Features Matrix Think/Pair/Share Memory Matrix Structured Problem-Solving
Pro and Con Grid Three-Step Interview Minute Paper | Muddiest Point Think-Aloud Pair Problem-Solving

Sources/Citations

These activities are taken from the books Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook For College Teachers by Thomas Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, and Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty by Elizabeth F. Barkley, Claire Howell Major, and K. Patricia Cross — present activities you can use to address specific learning outcomes. Each approach includes a basic description and overview of its outcomes, along with steps to guide its use in your course. Each technique in this resource was selected based on three criteria: ease of design, ease of implementation, and time needed to respond to activity.

  • Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 159-180.
  • Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 152.


Topics Map > Active Learning > Active Learning Classrooms (ALC)
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No.Document TitleIDUpdatedHits
1Memory Matrix (ALC)1184832023-02-01540
2Focused Listing (ALC)1184822023-02-01468
3Analytic Teams (ALC)1184812023-02-01490
4Case Studies (ALC)1184802023-02-01536
5Send-A-Problem (ALC)1184782023-02-01511
6Buzz Groups (ALC)1184692023-02-01555
7Talking Chips (ALC)1184672023-02-01595
8Three-Step Interview (ALC)1184652023-02-01559
9Empty Outlines (ALC)1184472023-02-01677
10Think/Pair/Share (ALC)1184662022-10-28631
11Structured Problem-Solving (ALC)1184772022-10-28518
12Minute Paper/Muddiest Point (ALC)1184842022-10-28568
13Background Knowledge Probe (ALC)1184452022-10-28621
14Think-Aloud Pair Problem-Solving (ALC)1184762022-10-28535
15Round Robin (ALC)1184682022-10-28673
16Categorizing Grid (ALC)1184752022-10-28474
17Content, Form, and Function Outlines (ALC)1184732022-10-28465
18Analytic Memo (ALC)1184742022-10-28425
19Pro and Con Grid (ALC)1184712022-10-28513
20Defining Features Matrix (ALC)1184722022-10-28499

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