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Contemporary research on classroom instructional modes suggest that teaching models employing active learning strategies result into meaningful learning over traditional, passive lectures with regards to retention of material, motivating students and developing thinking skills [3]. This in turn results in improved student’s performance, as measured by traditional tests, as well as creating positive student’s attitudes towards the learning process [4]. Moreover, because active learning strategies incorporate multiple learning styles, such strategies are consistent with educational models based on theories of learning and motivation. However, not all of these supports for active learning are compelling. For example, [5] conceded that the measured improvements of learner-centered over instructor-centered instructional strategy on students’ learning in two online courses were small, and concluded that the principles lack substantial evidence with respect to empirical support for active learning. They simply did not have much data confirming beneficial effects of other (non-cooperative or social) kinds of active learning. Despite this, the empirical support for active learning is extensive. However, confusion is added to the issue when the variety of instructional methods labeled as active learning is considered. Although there is strong support for the adoption of active learning, it is not always clear what is being promoted given the differences in the approaches labeled as active learning. Therefore, it is best to think of active learning as an approach rather than a method and to recognize that different methods are best assessed separately.


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