Active learning (process of doing in learning) results in more effective retention and recall of knowledge and skills. Active learning materials should include some or all of the following:
- problem solving activities such as giving students a case study that poses a problem and asking them to solve the problem and give reasons for their approach. The type of case study can be focused on a technical problem relating to equipment or on a more general topic such as a personnel issue.
- practical exercises could include working with equipment or tools, producing a product, or less concrete activities such as designing or planning for a given outcome.
- experimentation or learning by experience would include all types of laboratory or workshop activities where a student is given parameters in which to find out what the results might be from certain actions. The effects of raising or lowering temperature, mixing substances, removing oxygen, cooking, burning, etc. can all be part of experimentation leading to significant learning.
- assignments/projects include a chosen or assigned topic in which the student researches and presents the information to the instructor or to the group. It provides the opportunity for students to express their thoughts and to research a variety of topics.
- brain-storming is group interaction which allows individuals to express their opinions to the group without fear of criticism, to present ideas or re-think previous ideas.
- reflective thinking requires the student to reflect broadly to consider past experiences and relate these thoughts to current learning activities.