Active Learning Strategies

Performance Objectives:

Active Learning (PowerPoint presentation)

Fundamental Principles of Active Learning:

Randall D. Knight at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo has compiled a list of research-based active learning strategies most suitable for teaching physics in his book, Five Easy Lessons: Strategies for Successful Physics Teaching (Addison Wesley, 2004).

Before detailing the active learning strategies, Knight points out that active learning strategies have five traits which are quoted here from his 2004 book with additional commentary by Carl Wenning.

Generic Active Learning Strategies: Resource I

Generic Active Learning Strategies: Resource II

Active Learning Strategies Suitable for Teaching High School Physics:

The following is a list of different approaches to teaching that are designed to improve student learning. The list was compiled on the basis of offering practical assistance to novice high school physics teachers. Some of the active learning strategies listed below have been show through teaching research at the university level to be highly effective in improving post-secondary student learning. Undoubtedly, the successes of these strategies provide implications for teaching high school physics. Teacher candidates should be familiar with these approaches, and the useful resources that each program provides.

Specific Strategies:

Individualized Processes:

Small Group Processes:

Whole Group Processes:

Specific University-Level Programs: (For details, see Knight's book.)

(Last updated 6/05/2009, cjw)