Skip to main content

Table 1 The basic elements of active learning and examples for related attitudes and realizations

From: Primetime learning: collaborative and technology-enhanced studying with genuine teacher presence

Basic element Central findings
Interaction (In) Allow students to interact with peers and teachers to articulate thoughts and arguments, challenge alternative conceptions, meet mistakes head-on and correct them (Heller et al. 1992; Herrmann 2013; Knight 2004b; Smith et al. 2009; Springer et al. 1999).
Technology enhancement (Te) Use videos, animations, applets, simulations, and numerical exercises. Technology provides various viewpoints and controls cognitive load under well-instructed usage (De Jong and Njoo 1992; Muller et al. 2007; Schmid et al. 2014; Wagh et al. 2017; Wieman and Perkins 2005; Wieman et al. 2008).
Alternative conceptions (Al) Do not disregard alternative conceptions, but acknowledge them and face them head-on (Beatty et al. 2006; Muller et al. 2007).
Study phenomena (Ph) Place phenomena above abstractions and use everyday experiences to keep students on the same track; use context-rich, real-life problems (Heller and Hollabaugh 1992; Wieman and Perkins 2005).
Focus on concepts (Co) Avoid problems with symbol manipulations and focus on concepts instead. Even math problems sprout on conceptual problems (Dufresne and Gerace 2004; Wieman et al. 2008).
Problem-solving skills (Pr) Teach and enforce explicit problem-solving strategies (Heller et al. 1992; Heller and Hollabaugh 1992; Maloney 2011; McDermott and Redish 1999; Pedaste et al. 2015).
Self-assessment and reflection (Se) Train metacognition by systematically promoting reflections (Beatty et al. 2006).
Feedback and formative assessment (Fo) Give continuous and immediate feedback and build assessment that supports studying while it happens (Beatty and Gerace 2009; Dihoff et al. 2004; Dufresne and Gerace 2004; Hattie and Timperley 2007).
Multiple representations (Re) Take advantage of context-richness, video and audio, and verbal, mathematical, and graphical representations (Heller and Hollabaugh 1992; Knight 2004a, 2004b; Treagust et al. 2017).
Adaptability (Ad) Allow flexible and adaptable study tempo and goals and provide personal feedback (Kulik et al. 1990; Raes et al. 2014).