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Active Learning

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Synonyms

Effective learning; Learning by doing; Meaningful learning

Definition

Active learning refers to instructional techniques that allow learners to participate in learning and teaching activities, to take the responsibility for their own learning, and to establish connections between ideas by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. Bonwell and Eison (1991) define active learning as anything that involves learners in doing and thinking about what they are doing. Active learning is more focused on cognitive development than the acquisition of facts and transmission of information. The role of the learner is not being a passive listener and note taker. The learner’s role is being involved in learning activities such as discussions, reviewing, and evaluating, concept mapping, role playing, hands-on projects, and cooperative group studies to develop higher-order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

Theoretical Background

Active learning is sometimes referred to...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_489
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References

  • Bell, B. S., & Kozlowski, S. W. J. (2008). Active learning: Effects of core training design elements on self-regulatory processes, learning, and adaptability. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(2), 296–316.

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  • Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. AEHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No.1. ED340272. Washington, DC: Jossey-Bass.

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  • Dewey, J. (1966). Democracy and education. New York: Free.

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  • Ellerman, D., Denning, S., & Hanna, N. (2001). Active learning and development assistance. Journal of Knowledge Management, 5(2), 173–179.

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  • Johnson, D., Johnson, R., & Smith, K. (1991). Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. Edina: Interaction Books.

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  • Mayer, R. (2004). Should there be a three-strikes rule against pure discovery learning? The case for guided methods of instruction. The American Psychologist, 59(1), 14–19.

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Correspondence to Aytac Gogus .

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© 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Gogus, A. (2012). Active Learning. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_489

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