Active Learning Strategies

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive psychology focuses on the science of how people think. This branch of psychology explores a wide variety of mental processes, including attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity and reasoning. Cognitive psychology can help identify effective instructional strategies, such as interleaving and spacing.


Differentiated Instruction (DI) is the planning and delivery of instruction that considers the varied levels of readiness, learning needs and interests of each training participant. Practitioners might employ different methods with different participants, depending on their readiness and needs, and provide options for demonstrating their understanding and mastery of the material.

Discussion Strategies

Discussion strategies enhance learning and create a collaborative exchange of ideas among participants for the purpose of furthering their thinking, learning, problem solving and understanding of ideas.

In-class discussion strategies

Online discussion strategies

Goal Setting

Goal setting is the process of setting an outcome (a goal) that makes the direction of learning clear.  It also helps increase participants’ motivation and achievement levels.

Learning Space

Learning space refers to a physical setting for a good learning environment, it may refer to a traditional classroom, an indoor/outdoor location or a virtual or actual space.  Having a good learning space can increase productivity, alertness and focus in the individual using it.  



Metacognition is the awareness of thinking about thinking. It helps participants understand their own learning processes.

Problem-based Learning

Problem-based learning  (PBL) is a learner-centered approach in which participants learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem.

Role Assignment

Role assignment includes the various roles that are assigned to participants in a group, such as reader, elaborator, clarifier, writer, etc.  These roles allow for participants to clearly understand their duties within the group and what is needed to succeed in a collaborative learning environment.    


Role-play is a technique that allows participants to immediately apply what they have learned in theory to a real-world situation within the confines of the classroom.  This allows participants to think more critically about complex subjects and to see situations from a different perspective.


Scroll to top