Theresa is a nine-year-old child celebrating her birthday. In one of the gift parcels, she finds a book about nature: “Nature around you”. She is enthusiastic about the illustrations and sees pictures of many animals that live in the forests and meadows in the vicinity of her home, even though she has never met personally. Her all-time favorite is the Lynx. She would like to know more about it.
Her family owns a smart TV. She asks her dad to find videos about lynxes. Watching her dad finding videos on YouTube, she takes over the remote control and searches for more videos. Comparing the videos, she finds out a lot about the Lynx: how it lives, how it raises the young, which food it prefers, and much more. She shares her knowledge with a schoolmate, and both decide to go to the zoo to watch a lynx there.
What is described here is typical for active learning: Learning is driven by interest. Theresa owns her learning and is responsible for it, she is actively involved in the learning process, shares her new knowledge with others, and finishes the learning experience in a collaborative way. The example also shows a typical learning approach of kids. Interesting is Theresa’s dad’s role: He is the facilitator of the learning, supporting his daughter in her learning development.
What is described here is active learning.
The situation in a traditional school is different: While a teacher is lecturing, the pupils are listening and taking some notes. We call this passive learning.
Is active learning the “better way to learn”?
The answer is yes (in most cases). Active learning is “deep learning” with a higher result of learning outcomes. It is more intensive learning – and it makes fun (in most cases) and plays a significant (positive) role in learning.
Active learning is a generic term that describes a specific pedagogical approach. This approach is in contrast to content-based learning
Is passive learning bad?
There do not exist “good” or “bad” approaches to learning. Passive learning is a method in which learners receive information and initialize them by memorizing or rote learning. In our example this would be the information taken from the book: The lynx is a type of wild cat, lives in European forests, has characteristic ears, has a weight between 18 and 30 kg, lives solitary. Female lynxes give birth to one up to four kittens each year.
We can call this lexical knowledge. On the one hand, lexical knowledge is still essential as basic knowledge. On the other hand, it can be retrieved easily today by searching the internet.
Advantages of active learning
Active learning involves students doing things and thinking about the things they are doing. This is closely related to watching, listening, discussing, taking notes, reflecting, and other activities. Active learning can create personal connections to the material for learners (in context with higher motivation to learn), allows learners to practice essential skills (collaboration, self-esteem, self-paced learning, sense of community with peers and trainers), and finally leads to better learning outcomes.
This simplified synopsis of active learning should clarify why active learning plays such a significant role in Flipped Learning 3.0.
Flipped Learning 3.0 Guide
In our guide, we will introduce some active learning methods to show the full range of possibilities and potential of active learning.
Here is the table of contents for the guide that is currently being created:
Flipped Adult Education
A guide to implement Flipped Learning 3.0 in Adult Education
- About the guide
- Flipped Learning
- Active Learning
- Best Practice Examples
- Ideas, Guidelines & Tools
- Quality Framework