How can my eLearn course site become part of an active learning experience for my students?

As an experienced instructor in the face-to-face classroom, you may be wondering about the value of incorporating online learning into your course(s). Is this just extra work for you and students with little added value, or can you create and facilitate meaningful experiences that support, complement or strengthenĀ what you are trying to accomplish in class?

While the value certainly depends on your thoughtful design and on the learning and teaching strategies you adopt, the good news is that with sound pedagogical principles and a continued eye to the learning outcomes, active learning online is not only possible, but can also be a valuable contribution to the overall student learning experience.

In this article, Learning Online is not a Spectator Sport: How to Make it Active, from Online Learning Insights, the author argues that active learning, which puts students in the center of the learning experience, is just as possible online as it is in the face to face classroom: “The goal is to encourage students to dialog, write, think and evaluate no matter what learning environment the student occupies.” The article further divides active learning into three categories, individual, cooperative and collaborative, and suggests specific instructional design strategies for active learning online.

The Asynchronous Active Learning Cookbook is another great source of inspiration for active learning in online courses. It offers detailed descriptions and examples of activities that can be easily adapted to many different uses including:

  • Group and team activities
  • Discussion activities
  • Mapping activities
  • Games
  • Simulations and Labs
  • Writing, Storytelling and Publishing
  • Presentations

and lots of good advice on how to create an engaging online class experience.

Interested in learning more about building active learning into your classroom? Book a consultation with an Educational Developer in the CTE.