Active Learning Techniques to Engage Your Mind and Absorb Information

Utilizing active learning strategies can assist students in becoming more effective learners. These techniques are applicable both to large lecture courses in auditoriums as well as smaller seminars-style rooms.

Some popular active learning techniques include think-pair-share (TPS), which involves an instructor giving a mini lecture format of 10-20 minutes without writing notes, followed by students working individually or collectively to recall, clarify and expand on its contents.

1. Read and Write

Students often struggle with reading comprehension and vocabulary development, as well as essay and research paper writing and proofing their work. Therefore, it’s essential that they develop effective reading and writing habits with focus and concentration. There are various proven techniques they can try to enhance their performance in these areas – for instance taking notes while reading can help recall important facts and details, writing down discussion questions while reading can promote critical thinking skills, while discussing or talking over what was just read can encourage understanding and application of concepts read about in a story or text they just finished.

Active learning has seen immense growth over time, due to advances in education and cognitive theory. It offers learners an engaging alternative to traditional lecture formats while helping them progress from memorization to understanding, applying, analyzing and creating.

Instructors may hesitate to adopt this style of teaching for various reasons. One is having more material to cover in class than is allotted; this concern applies across education levels and fields of study, librarians included; particularly those employed by institutions which require them to teach certain amounts of content for standardized tests.

Librarians can address these concerns by being transparent about the purpose of their classes and gradually introducing active learning techniques that increase confidence and comfort among participants. For example, user services librarian Lisa may add activities such as “lecture pause” into her workshops by asking patrons to pair off and discuss responses to brief prompts during workshops.

2. Share

To fully comprehend new material, students need to share and discuss ideas. This essential part of active learning can be applied in numerous ways to the classroom environment.

Discussion allows learners to expand on what they have just heard or read from a teacher or read for themselves, and see how the new concepts relate to their personal experiences. Engaged students tend to retain and remember more material they learn while also developing higher-order thinking skills like analysis, evaluation and synthesis.

Discussions can take many forms in a classroom setting, ranging from small group dialogue to classwide discussions and debates. Some instructors employ an active learning strategy known as “think-pair-share”, wherein students independently consider an issue before pairing off to discuss responses with one another before sharing with the entire class. Other active learning strategies may include group projects, in-class demonstrations, role playing simulations, case studies or peer teaching as part of active learning strategies.

At school or when reading alone, active engagement – marking and underlining important points of new information you come across – has been shown to increase comprehension and memory retention. Students who regularly underline, highlight, or make notes in their books are more likely to recall and comprehend it than those who don’t actively engage with it.

Beyond discussions, other active learning techniques in the classroom may include flipping classes, short demonstrations followed by class discussion, peer review and just-in-time instruction (e.g., short lecture segments followed by brief discussions). Although this can create an noisier classroom environment, if instructors clearly outline expectations and purpose of these activities they can help direct student behavior more efficiently.

3. Exercise

As the academic community responds to students’ expectations that learning should involve more than straight lecture, instructors are increasingly adopting active learning techniques in classrooms. These student-centric teaching strategies shift much of the responsibility for learning away from instructors and toward students interacting with classmates through group work activities; those engaging with their studies through these methods typically perform better than those who don’t engage.

These strategies include cooperative learning methods like jigsaws and gallery walks; problem-based learning – where instructors present real world issues for which the students develop solutions – such as case study or project-based learning; discussion-based learning (interactive lectures that stop midway to allow learners to clarify and consolidate notes or collaborate on finding any gaps or questions); and discussion-based learning (such as interactive discussions or case studies).

Think-pair-share and peer instruction are among the most acclaimed teaching methods. Think-pair-share requires instructors to pose a question or other prompt and allow students to reflect upon and write down their responses before pairing off and sharing with classmates for discussion. It works best in small groups and has low stakes requirements, making participation easy even for introverted or nervous students.

Peer instruction requires students to teach fellow students how to complete specific skills and tasks such as subject and keyword searching. Ben, an instructor in a school library course, enjoys this method because it allows him to monitor student performance while giving them an opportunity to hone their teaching abilities. Unfortunately, some of his students were uncomfortable with being instructed by their peers so Ben must select low-stakes activities in order to prevent situations becoming too high-stress.

4. Listen to Music

No matter if it be singing along at Karaoke or creating a playlist for studying just like great slot players do while playing online slot games on the platform, many of us rely on music as a form of stress relief and increased concentration. According to a 2021 study, students who studied to background music fared significantly better on tests than those working alone or using white noise for background noise reduction.

Hearing familiar songs stimulates both the auditory cortex and hippocampus, two vital regions for memory. Furthermore, music can increase spatial intelligence by helping you to comprehend how things fit together more easily; plus it may speed up problem-solving time–especially those that require creative approaches to problem-solving.

However, when studying, it is important to choose music carefully. Avoid songs with lyrics and fast tempo changes as this could distract you and keep your focus on task. Instead, classical or ambient music with low stimulation levels may work best as this won’t distract from what’s being accomplished in class. And while some argue that listening to music while reading may make retention harder than ever before – an experiment in 2012 showed those who color-coded notes for review showed higher comprehension rates than those who simply read without highlighting or summarizing material for exams than those who read without ever highlighting or summarizing.

Alternatively, check out apps that help you connect with people with similar musical tastes and collaborate on playlists together. Or if public singing is too intimidating for you, consider practicing alone or with a study partner using your playlist as an anchor to focus. And for even greater brain benefits consider learning an instrument – studies show playing music increases spatial intelligence, cognitive ability and fluency especially among children.

5. Talk

Some students learn best when hearing new information, so discussing it with friends is one effective way to increase comprehension. Furthermore, doing this activity with others makes learning even more engaging if made enjoyable!

Group work is another effective form of active learning. Activities like Gallery Walk and Jigsaw allow groups to build on each other’s ideas to reach consensus or solve problems more efficiently.

Other groups can discuss topics by asking an open question or engaging in class discussions, where Socratic method can be employed to foster meaningful dialogue and more structured activities such as word journaling (where students write about an issue and then select one word to represent it) may also prove effective strategies for stimulating thought and encouraging higher order thinking. Student debates also offer effective methods of stimulating discourse.

Active learning techniques seek to shift the emphasis of learning away from passively digesting information, toward actively evaluating sources, analyzing perspectives and recognizing leaps of logic. These approaches have proven successful across disciplines and were created specifically to support dual coding, interleaved practice and spaced practice principles.

Though these techniques offer numerous advantages, their implementation in classrooms may present unique challenges. One primary worry is that these approaches might make classrooms noisier; however, instructors should set ground rules about acceptable behavior and when to move onto another activity – which is especially critical when using online learning platforms such as Blackboard Collaborate where students cannot easily interact physically.