Using Technology Tools to Facilitate Active Learning

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  • to facilitate active learningSeth Allen, MLIS, MA Instructional Technologist South College

    Using Technology Tools

  • Defining Active LearningActive learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process (Prince, 2004, p. 1).

    Active learning activities:

    Take place in the classroom Require that students to actively engage with

    new concepts Challenge student to reflect on their learning

  • Why is Active Learning Important?Svinicki and McKeachie (2011) assert that active learning activities are important because they:

    Connect new concepts with students existing knowledge

    Eliminate the illusion of understanding; not being able to apply new facts

    Motivate students to do something rather than passively hear lectures (p. 169-70).

    Additionally, most students lose focus after 15 minutes of lecturing (Eisen, 2010, p. 2).

  • Typical Active Learning ActivitiesTypical active learning activities include:

    One minute paper Muddiest or clearest point Instant polls Think-pair-share Brainstorming Concept maps Analytical questions

  • on MoodleActive Learning Tools

  • Active Learning Activities in MoodleTo use the following activities:

    1) Turn on the editing button, 2) Click Add an activity or resource in the desired week 3) Add desired activity.

    How-to guides on these activities are available on South Colleges ITech site.

  • on the open webActive Learning Tools

  • Sample Concept MapConcept maps, or mind maps, allow students to rehearse their learning, use relevant vocabulary, and deepen their thinking (as cited in Dean et al, 2012, p. 93).

    Some online tools for concept mapping include:


    Image taken from p. 94 of Classroom Instruction that Works (2nd ed).

  • Think-Pair-ShareThink-pair-share involves:

    1) Instructor proposes question/idea2) Students brainstorm their responses

    individually3) Students assemble in groups to

    discuss their answers. Optionally, instructor might ask groups to share with class

    Padlet and Google Docs are good tools for facilitating think-pair-share.

    Example of a Padlet wall

    Padlet Tutorial

  • Instant PollsKahoot is a free tool to create quizzes, surveys, and discussions. Educators can set up quizzes on and invite students to play using their computers or mobile devices.

    Lets Play!

    Lets get started by going to and typing in the following password: 942269

    Other Free Pooling Tools:

    GoSoapBox Peardeck Integrates


  • about active learningLearning More

  • Active Learning Resources Active Learning for the College Classroom

    (Web page) Twilight of the Lecture (Article) Making Active Learning Work (Web page) Active Learning in Online Training: What

    E-Learning Professionals Should Know (Article) Active Learning Strategies in Face-to-Face

    Courses (Article) Not Every Idea Needs a Tool, But Every Tool

    Needs an Idea (Blog post)

  • Works Cited in This Presentation Dean, C.B, Hubbell, E.R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B. (2012). Classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

    Eisen, J. (2010 Mar). Using active learning instructional strategies to create excitement and enhance learning [PDF]. Retrieved from

    Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.

    Svinicki, M. & McKeachie, W. (2011). McKeachies teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for

    college and university teachers. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.