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Table 1 Four levels of cognitive engagement in ICAP framework, described by observable student behavior and expected learning outcomes (adapted from Chi and Wylie 2014)

From: Pedagogical knowledge for active-learning instruction in large undergraduate biology courses: a large-scale qualitative investigation of instructor thinking

Mode Interactive Constructive Active Passive
Student behavior Two or more learners discuss, with each taking turns and generating outputs that go beyond the information that has been presented in instructional materials (e.g., defending and arguing a position) Learners generate outputs that go beyond the information that has been presented in instructional materials (e.g., drawing a concept map, solving a new problem) Learners make physical manipulations without adding new knowledge (e.g., taking verbatim notes) Learners receive information (e.g., listening)
Learning outcomes Deepest understanding, potential to innovate new ideas, interpretations, products. Deep understanding, potential for transfer to new contexts Shallow understanding, potential for transfer to very similar contexts Minimal understanding, potential for knowledge recalled verbatim and in identical context