Choi Y., Jakob S., and Anderson W.J. 2017. Active learning: Developing self-directed learners through strong intellectual engagement. Course Source. DOI:10.24918/cs.2017.20


When they were students, many current science instructors learned through traditional lectures. This mode of passive knowledge transmission has been shown to be less effective for student learning than an approach that involves students in a more active and engaged role in their learning. Without first-hand experiences with active learning, current instructors face challenges as they try to incorporate active learning experiences into their classrooms. In this review, we summarize the field of active learning, including relevant pedagogical philosophy and features of commonly used activities. We end with future considerations that could help disseminate and improve the implementation of active learning in college science classes.

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Bill Anderson is the Director of Education and provides administrative leadership and support for the undergraduate, graduate, and medical teaching mission in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University.

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