Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Active Learning

Reflecting on active learning ... and seeking answers to a question like "How do you evaluate active learning?" I read (again) Bonwell and Eison (1991) and Meyers and Jones (1993). Active learning is an effective method or strategy. I believe that it can work, but it requires some advanced planning on the part of the instructor.

An interesting perspective is from Mitchell (2006), is that "There IS evidence that active learning, student-centered approaches to teaching physiology work, and they work better than more passive approaches" (p. 165). This may be the beginning point, or tipping point (see Gladwell, 2002), for improving or transforming teaching AND learning. Intuitively we can see that active learning ENGAGES students in the process of learning.

More on this topic as it develops ...


Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.: ED340272).

Gladwell, M. (2002). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. New York, NY: Back Bay Books.

Meyers, C., & Jones, T. (1993). Promoting active learning: Strategies for the college classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Mitchell, J. (2006). "Where's the evidence that active learning works?" Advances in Physiology Education 30, 159-167.

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