What is active learning? It's "students doing anything but sitting and listening to a lecture," says Richard Felder. Felder is Professor Emeritus in Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and important figure in the development and advocacy of active learning. It's when students work in teams, investigate questions, solve problems, and more, rather than just listening. Research shows that active learning techniques improve not only student mastery of the material but also their engagement with the class and the discipline.
Instructors often ask to see examples of faculty using active learning techniques in their classrooms. Here's your chance. In this 12-minute video, Felder includes footage of himself and his class doing active learning as well as describing what it is and how it works.
Felder also addresses the often-heard concern from faculty that adding active learning exercises to class will take up too much time and keep them from covering the material they need to. Not so, says Felder. He explains that he still covered all the content in his his syllabus while incorporating learning activities, with the added advantage that students were far more alert and engaged than in a traditional lecture format.
The video is from 1998 but just as pertinent and applicable today. Felder begins at 0:56.
Characteristics of Effective Teachers - includes Felder's list of 10 mistakes ineffective teachers make
Active Learning FAQs by Felder
And some 3-minute videos on active learning by Mike Prince, who has worked with Felder and shares his approach: