Examples of Interactive Learning activities

Whole course strategies

  • Problem-based learning: students learn about a topic through solving problems. Students need to identify what they need to know to solve a problem. Often there is no “correct” answer. ​This allows for skill development such as knowledge acquisition, enhanced group collaboration and communication.
  • Project-based learning: students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. Can extend over the whole semester and can be multidisciplinary.
  • Simulations and role play: a form of experiential learning which can be very motivating, helping students to connect their learning to real world outcomes and to practice skills they will need in order to apply their knowledge. ​
  • Work integrated learning​: students apply their academic learning to its practical application in the workplace.
  • Flipped classroom models: refers to the idea of getting students to learn “content” in their own time, and to apply the content during class time.
  • Group laboratory activities: applicable to some particular subject areas such as science.

Classroom strategies

  • Graphical organisers:  like drawing a mind map to describe how ideas relate to each other, or a Venn diagram to describe similarities and differences. ​
  • Think – pair – square – share: is about getting students to take a moment to think of an answer to a question, to share it with a neighbour, then a bigger group, and finally with the class. This can be useful for taking away the fear factor of talking in a large class, for making sure everyone gets a chance to be active learners. ​
  • Brainstorm: a quick list creation activity to change pace of class or to ​find a solution to a specific problem. 
  • Jigsaw: is a method for engaging students in deeper learning as they become experts in a topic and teach each other. We’ve all experienced that the best way to learn something is to teach it to others.  [Students are divided into groups two ways – say groups of four if there are four topics to be learned. One person from each group of four would learn each topic and then the little groups get back together and teach each other.]
  • Student-designed quiz: similar thinking to the jigsaw method. You need to really understand a topic to design a good quiz question (if you also need to supply the answer). Some people get their students to submit questions for every topic and promise that some of the student’s questions will be on the exam. ​
  • Peer review: is about getting students to give feedback to each other about their work. This is useful for developing professional judgement, exposing students to different viewpoints, establishing standards and prompting a discussion about different criteria of quality. ​
  • Debate: could be run in a tutorial or a larger class ​
  • Competitions: can be as small or big as you like.  They can be run to make a quick activity to make a dry topic more interesting or students could be organised into project groups and prepare over the whole semester.  
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