Accessibility statement

Active learning approaches

The conversational framework / ABC model incorporates learning types that are at the centre of ‘active learning’ approaches. These involve students taking part in activities to actively construct and use their developing knowledge and understanding and to reflect on their own performance in these activities to connect them to their learning process.

The Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching guide to active learning explores active learning, the theories underpinning the approach and the evidence of its effectiveness, along with suggestions for how active learning techniques can be incorporated within lectures (eg active pauses, think-pair-share activities or minute papers) and or used to replace (some) lectures (eg student-generated test questions, concept mapping activities, case-based learning activities, and decision-making tasks (Brame, 2016).

Many of the activities involving short responses (eg minute papers or active pauses) can also be supported using the University-supported classroom polling tool, Mentimeter.  This provides a means to ‘capture’ the outcomes of individual or group activities for sharing and feedback.

Collaborative tools such as Google Docs or Padlets can also be used to support activities and strengthen the relationships between staff-student contact and student work. This can be especially useful within flipped learning and other forms of blended learning. These aim to increase activity by providing environments in which students can engage with content, peers and staff  inside and outside the classroom. 

Brame, C. (2016). Active learning. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.