Active Learning

Active learning is a teaching/learning method that is more student-centered than traditional teaching methods.  During active learning, students participate in activities that are designed not only to help them engage in a topic or issue, but also to reflect on their own learning.  Active learning may also involve students working together in small groups to solve a problem or to complete a project.  The following information provides tips for using active learning in large classes, as well as a video which provides both teacher and student perspectives on how an "active"classroom can be successful. 


Dr. Nancy Pitts, Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University

Dr. Pitts shares her approaches and techniques that she uses in her first-year lectures to engage students’ interest and support their learning. 


Dr. Jennifer Stamp and Dr. Leanne Stevens, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, Dalhousie University


Dr. Alison Lloyd - Active Learning in Large Class
Published on Feb 20, 2013

... In this video, Dr. Alison Lloyd shows how a typical lecture can be enriched and enlivened with suitable group exercises.  She highlights the importance of choosing appropriate material, supporting students during and after the group work, and shares some tips on how to create an atmosphere that encourages participation.  Her students found that group activities helped them to absorb knowledge better, and they enjoyed her lectures very much.


Strategies to mitigate student resistance to active learning (Tharayil, S., Borrego, M., Prince, M. et al. IJ STEM Ed (2018) 5: 7.

Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction

Active Learning – large classes

9 Alternatives to Lecturing

150 Teaching Methods

How can you incorporate active learning into your classroom? Active Learning Techniques