"Active learning refers to techniques where students do more than simply listen to a lecture. Students are DOING something including discovering, processing, and applying information. Active learning "derives from two basic assumptions: (1) that learning is by nature an active endeavor and (2) that different people learn in different ways" (Meyers and Jones, 1993). Research shows greater learning when students engage in active learning. It is important to remember, however, that lecture does have its place and that you should not do active learning without content or objectives. The elements of active learning are talking and listening, writing, reading, and reflecting (Meyers and Jones, 1993). Bonwell and Eison (1991) state that some characteristics of active learning are:
Students are involved in more than listening, less emphasis is placed on transmitting information and more on developing students' skills, students are involved in higher-order thinking (analysis, synthesis, evaluation), students are engaged in activities (e.g., reading discussing, writing), and greater emphasis is placed on students' exploration of their own attitudes and values. (p. 2)" (http://www.cat.ilstu.edu/additional/tips/newActive.php).