Active Learning Strategies for Online College Classrooms

Active Learning Strategies for Online College Classrooms

Marina Kamenetskiy
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4036-7.ch001
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The term active learning is also known as “learning by doing”; it is where students are presented with a variety of learning activities that encourages thinking and reflection. Educational leaders recognize the value of promoting active learning in the educational setting and encourage their faculty to apply active learning techniques in their online classrooms to increase learner interest and motivation. This chapter identifies various active learning strategies that can be applied to any discipline in any online course, as well as presents different examples of active learning activities. Active learning strategies can include group work, simulations (role play), and games, in order to build learners' critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills.
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How do humans learn? Is it by doing or by observing? Is there a difference between how adults and children learn? According to Knowles’ (2017) Andragogy Theory, adults learn differently as they tend to be more self-directed and intrinsically motivated. Previous studies mainly concentrate on pedagogy, or the way children are taught, but there is a difference in how adults learn compared to how children learn. Knowles (2017) believed that there are five assumptions about adult learners to include the ability to direct their own learning, draw from past experiences, be ready to learn or be more serious about education, look for practical approaches to learning, and be driven by internal motives. Based on these assumptions one of the principles that educators should consider is teaching content that focuses on issues related to the “real world,” which includes problem-solving instead of memorization of information.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Andragogy: A teaching methodology for adult learners.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: Is a hierarchical model developed by Benjamin Bloom that consisting of six levels of cognitive complexity.

Asynchronous Learning: Is where course content is delivered online and students can participate in the course anytime and from any place.

Team-Based Learning: A collaborative learning strategy for group learning that promotes collaboration and critical thinking.

Case-Based Learning: A type of learning strategy that engages students by introducing real-world examples and scenarios.

Synchronous Learning: Is where course content is delivered in real-time and students participate from anywhere.

Simulation: An activity used to help people discover new ways to improve a process or test out scenarios based on a real-world setting.

Constructivist Learning Theory: A theory that explains how people construct knowledge and learn.

Learning Management System (LMS): A software application used to deliver and manage online courses and training.

Discovery-Based Learning: A technique that allows people to learn by doing by drawing on their own past experiences.

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