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Active Learning in Library Instruction


Getting Started

What is Active Learning?

Active learning involves engaging students in their own learning by providing opportunities for them to interact with each other and the course content in meaningful ways. Rather than acting as passive receptacles for information, students actively participate in the learning process by solving problems, exploring solutions, and interacting with their peers. 

Research has demonstrated a clear link (see Additional Resources) between active learning strategies in the classroom and higher levels of student learning and academic success. Active learning also promotes student engagement, metacognition, and critical thinking skills.

Incorporating Active Learning Into Your Lessons

Start small. Incorporate one or two active learning techniques into a lesson you have used in the past. Many active learning strategies are simple and can be completed in less than five minutes, making them easy to insert into existing lesson plans.

Plan backwards. Consider your objective(s) for the session. What do you hope students will be able to do when they leave the classroom? Create opportunities for them to practice those skills in class.

Give a pre-class assignment. Provide students with links to readings, videos, or other content to be read or viewed before class. This leaves more time for students to discuss and engage with the material in meaningful ways in the classroom.

Jessica Hinson-Williams

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Jessica Hinson-Williams
O'Neill Library 312
Boston College