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Active Learning

Active Learning Resources curated by
Dr. Harriet Hustis, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow
Spring 2023

To become engaged learners, students need to:

  1. feel a sense of belonging
  2. adopt a “growth” mindset 
  3. know why what they’re learning is meaningful for them

Source: Felten, Peter. 2018, July 19. The heart of engaged learning: What students do and think. [Blog Post].  See also: Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast 

When faculty frame their course structure and content around the insights of “metacognition” (understanding how we learn) and “active learning” (activities designed to engage students in thinking about what they’re learning, and why), students are directly and/or implicitly encouraged to become more engaged learners.

Loosely organized around the topics of “Belonging,” “Growth,” and “Meaning,” the resources below are designed to help faculty begin thinking about how to encourage (or require) students to engage more fully and meaningfully in their own learning and, by extension, with their course content and learning activities.

Remember: an instructor can’t possibly—and shouldn’t try—to implement everything all at once! 

Instead, consider the suggestion that Thomas J. Tobin & Kristin Behling offer in Chapter 5 of Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone (2018):

Is there just one more way that you can help keep learners on task, just one more way that you could give them information, just one more way that they could demonstrate their skills?” (134).  

Podcast episodes focused on active learning & metacognition:

Teaching in Higher Ed podcasts:

Podcast episodes about belonging:

Teaching in Higher Ed podcasts:

Books & Podcast episodes about growth:

Books & Podcasts about creating meaning:

Recommended Books:

  • Sarah Rose Cavanagh, The Spark of Learning (2016)
  • Flower Darby, Small Teaching Online (2019)
  • Brown, Roediger, & McDaniel, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning (2014)
  • Immordino-Yang, Emotions, Learning, and the Brain (2016)
  • Shalaby,Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School (2017)
  • Neuhaus, Geeky Pedagogy (2019)
  • Linda K. Shadiow, What Our Stories Teach Us (2013)
  • Saundra McGuire, Teach Students How to Learn (2015)