Overview of this Active Learning Session

Session Goals

This session is an entry point designed to help you learn more about active learning and get started (or continue) developing active learning concepts that you can integrate into your own teaching and learning. The materials here are intended to be useful to learners of every level of familiarity with active learning concepts, from the completely uninitiated to the expert. You'll find fundamental introductory resources and materials, as well as several outward pointing references to optional supplementary and more advanced materials.

While we'll have specific objectives for each week of the course, our overall learning objectives for this module are to help each participant successfully do the following:

Session Design & Learning Pathways

Week 1 will begin with an introduction to and overview of key active learning concepts and materials. Subsequent weeks will provide a progressively deeper dive into practical design ideas, and activity generation. We have mapped three learning pathways for all of our materials, depending on how you will consume or interact with these materials. These pathways are:

Observe & Consider symbol  Observe & Consider       Share & Connect symbol  Share & Connect       Practice & Apply symbol  Practice & Apply

These learning pathway symbols will be used throughout the session as visual tags for various materials and activities. If you are new to the online workshop series, we recommend that you visit our introductory session, Introduction to the Online Workshop, to learn more about these pathways of learning and the online workshop series itself (that's where you can find out who the course facilitators are, for example). You might also want to check out our three previous sessions: Online Discussions [Fall 2012], Media Arts Production [Fall 2012], and Blended Learning [Spring 2013] to familiarize yourself with the format of this session and series.

Though the session is structured by weeks and paced so that each week builds upon the previous one, you're welcome to move through the session at your own pace and on your own time. Once a week has concluded, we will no longer actively be moderating and facilitating discussions and activities for that week, but you are still welcome to post, participate, contribute, and work through activities from that week on your own.


The readings for this session are ones that we have collected and curated over time, based on our past experiences with active learning. The podcasts in this module were developed and produced exclusively for this session by L&S Learning Support Services staff.

Projects & Activities

The activities in this session are designed to gradually help you become more familiar with active learning concepts and design as the session progresses, moving toward helping you to develop high-impact active learning activities that you can implement as instructors and learners. As we move through the weeks, these activities will also become more complex. We would challenge you to complete them all on the schedule that we've provided, but would encourage you to persist with the activities even if you find that you aren't able to complete them in the time frame of the weeks in which they occur. We also want to note that these activities are blueprints and suggestions, and invite you to develop each activity further than the "assignment" suggests, either for your own personal benefit or to share with the group.