Active learning in the Online Classroom – Examples and ideas

Someone recently told me that they heard of an approach where all the boring content delivery lecture material is put online so that more active learning can take place in the classroom. They then asked me if this was the best approach for online learning? What they were describing is blended learning or the “flipped” classroom approach. Good blended classrooms have a significant amount of active learning. The active learning philosophies need not only occur in the classroom however. There are ways to leverage the online space to include active learning. Active learning is basically any part of the course that involves active “interaction” instead of just passive tasks. It engages learners into activities that help them clarify, investigate, apply, create and integrate knowledge. Consider the human-factor: any types of human interactions such as Learner-to-Learner or Learner-to-TeachingTeam qualify. However, learners can also interact with their physical or virtual environment and that can be active. Just because you have an online course, it doesn’t mean you have to design learning activities that only involve reading web-pages or textbooks all day. Here’s a list of ideas, across four categories, for active learning online:

Learner-to-Learner Interactions

Creativity in active learning
  • Group brainstorming
  • Group role-playing
  • Study/support groups
  • Peer feedback on student work
  • Exploring a Virtual World as a team
  • Creating visual posters to share with the class
  • Creation of video presentations to share with the class
  • Asynchronous individual or collaborative learning activities (i.e. Projects)
  • Creative writing (in groups or individually) that is shared with peers
  • Problem-based learning Learning activities which encourage critical thinking
  • Cooperative learning group discussions (real time video chat or via asynchronous discussion forum)


  • Tutorials
  • Reflective questioning
  • Relating learning to relevant current events and personal life
  • Problem-based learning Learning activities which encourage critical thinking
  • Cooperative learning group discussions (real time video chat or via asynchronous discussion forum)

Learner-To-Virtual Environment

  • Interviewing people
  • Exploring a Virtual World individually
  • Learning activities which encourage critical thinking
  • Online quizzes (graded and non-graded) that provide immediate feedback
  • Advanced adaptive technologies like simulations and sensitivity analyses

Learner-To-Physical Environment 

  • Interviewing people
  • Home-based laboratories
  • Real-life data collection and analysis
  • Learning activities which encourage critical thinking
  • Learning activities with hand-on experiences and tasks
  • Learning activities which apply the content of the lesson in real-life situations

This list is not exhaustive.  Do you have something to add? If so, leave a comment below. Which ever active learning activity you choose for your online course, remember to keep the purpose in mind. Ask yourself, what Learning Outcome will this learning activity serve and does this activity align well with it? If you can answer that question clearly, then you’re on the right track.

The 6 types of Questions your Students Need to Know about ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Learning is all about asking questions and finding answers to them. An inquisitive mind is one that goes beyond the status quo and probes deep below surface meanings. To foster such kind of  thinking inside our classroom requires some hard work and a serious investment in time and efforts. We, as teachers and educators, need to prepare the right environment where inquisitive minds can nourish and grow. We need to water this environment with a culture of asking questions.

Yes you can put it in your teaching plans for this new school year. Make it one of your goals that students should be able to ask different questions to demonstrate their learning. Teach them about the different types of questions and when each can be used and let them practice them all along the way. Here is a wonderful graphic that you can use with your students. this graphic features what is called the Socrative Process which includes 6 steps of questioning. Check them out below and share with your colleagues.

The 6 types of Questions your Students Need to Know about ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

9 Ways To Keep Kids Actively Learning This Summer | Edudemic


Have you ever wondered how you can keep your kids reading, thinking, and writing while hanging with the family over summer break? Catching some movies, taking trips, enjoying sunny days and slow nights, you’ll have the makings to create your own great stories, so why not inspire your kids with some fun stuff from great writers and their books? A few of my favorite ideas are as follows:

Reading List

You could try a summer reading list with bestseller, popular, and favorites from other sources, including libraries, publishers, book stores, literary supplements, parenting sites, and even literacy organizations.

The Book That Turned Into A Movie

Who doesn’t love ridiculous plots and hi-tech silliness? Take in a flick or two at a local cinema or multiplex. You might also encourage your kids to read the book or graphic novel that inspired the movie. See if they liked the book or movie better and why.

Act It Out

No matter your age, call on the fun summer spirit of performance. Reading aloud can be magical. Anywhere will do, since the fun is in the doing. Suddenly, the yard becomes an ancient Athenian theatre, Roman camp, or medieval court. Declaim on the porch steps that supper is ready and let your kids and their friends’ stage performances. Read, act, and enjoy!

At-Home Learning Curricula

Use the web to find helpful things. Many websites, such as Reading is Fundamental and PBS Kids! offer free summer learning curriculum for parents. You can prepare for trips to fun museums, historic sites, and nature preserves, all of which are great for a day-trip or quick half-break. Maybe read a story or book with relevant background before heading out. You’ll have more to think about and discuss on the way back.

Explore Your Nation

Reading about the country and its people is always illuminating and usually fun, so try this for a change: read up on the nation’s amusement parks and sports. Baseball is quite interconnected with the social and political history of this country and reflects the changing views and beliefs of different regions and those congregating in them. Read something about the history of amusements, traveling entertainers, roller coasters, and the people involved in making or selling them. It’s all history, culture, and fun. When your trip or game is over you can always find more elsewhere.

Keep Track With A Journal

Keeping a journal will preserve the moments and provide creative inspiration and material later. Recording the summer and all that happened, whether on email, online, or in a notebook, will allow your children to remember what they did, when, with whom, and what they thought and felt at the time. It will sharpen their observation, their pens, and provide a basis from which to create something more later.

Pen Pal

Does your child have a friend that is traveling or leaving for camp? Why not have them become pen pals and send post cards and letters during the break? It’ll be a quiet and relaxing moment, allowing, if they wish, for reflection.

Summer Camp

Finding time for online activities may lead you to one of the fun educational summer camps aimed at kids that want to write. One such entity is the BoomWriter Storytellers Camp. Participants in the week-long writing camps get daily writing lessons and creative inspiration from Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. At the end of each week, kids get published copies of the books they’ve produced.

Find Quiet Time

Between day camps, sports camps, and play dates it can be tough to find personal quiet time. Kids need it, too, and if your child isn’t inclined to read, suggest they try during one of these times: mornings before the day kicks in, when the afternoon heat is worst, or evening, maybe before bedtime: they might choose to write their journal then, too.
Hope this helps and that you all enjoy your summers.

9 Ways To Keep Kids Actively Learning This Summer | Edudemic.