Active Learning is a broad term encompassing several models of instruction that seek to improve student learning outcomes by making students active participants in their learning. Active Learning of particular interest to health profession instructors because of the value of teamwork, cases, and simulation. Active learning can incorporate discussions, games, simulation, or a variety of activities. Instructors can apply active learning using simple to complex techniques ranging from occasional classroom activities to a formalized team based learning curriculum.

Good active learning teaching strategies combine agency, reflection, and collaboration:

Agency. Students learn best when they are in control the need for a student to take control of his/her mental activity, to be responsible for constructing knowledge, and to make certain that what he or she does in school matters.

Reflection. The ability to look back to an experience and be able to draw significant ideas, insights, questions. Reflection means recalling events, reconstructing them in order to find their meanings, and taking them inside the mind.

Collaboration. Actively working together by sharing the resources with a variety of people involved in teaching and learning. Knowledge is socially constructed through discourse.

See IHP Faculty Perspectives on Changing the Landscape with Active Learning