Learning Opportunities for Active Engagement

Learning Opportunities for Active Engagement

Learning Opportunities for Active Engagement


Teaching with Primary Sources

  • Hypotheticals, ask the learner ‘What If’ the source did not exist, it was written a year later / earlier?
  • Reading Rounds, invite learners to read a text, the next learner comments and/or interprets
  • Caption Gap, present a source with its caption edited out, invite new captions
  • CCC, using groups of three, invite students to discuss the Context, Content and Consequence of the source materials


Teaching Abstract Concepts

  • Utilise graphical representations (art, diagrams, even sculpture), invite learners to explore relationships via their own diagrams.
  • Manifesto writing, invite learners to apply the theoretical to practice
  • Wall of Post-its, invite learners to respond ‘emotionally’ and ‘intellectually’ discuss the divergence and its impact on the nature of the concept


Teaching with Numerical Data

  • Bogus data, invite learners to identify and explain why certain data is not admissable
  • Predictions, provide partial data, invite learners to intepret and extrapolate real figures
  • Market Translation, invite learners to represent the ‘meaning’ of figures in another form

Based on Davies, 2001


Miscellaneous ideas

  • Active Reading, get learners to make note of questions before reading, the task then becomes reading with an agenda. Also stress the importance of creating summaries or synopses of the texts
  • Card Groups, provide groups with a focused question on a card, ask them to answer on same card
  • Grafitti Puzzles, invite learners to annotate a map, diagram, image etc, and share notes with other learners
  • Googlejockeying, utilise the students laptops in session, invite them to seek out information on a particular topic and present it back to their group or cohort
  • PRS / Clickers, utilise handheld quiz remotes to interact with the class, gaining opinion, consensus, level of understanding etc.
  • Segmented Presentations, invite learners todo a 3 minute presentation on an issue, question, theme etc, present for 1 minute, group response for 5 minutes, etc.
  • SMS, (98% of students have a mobile phone), invite responses to a mobile blog or text manager
  • Video, provide learners with duties (identified tasks) regarding the video, turn off the sound and ask for a commentary or narration.
  • Wikis, utlising laptops, invite students to brainstorm, contribute, debate etc in an ‘active’ wiki



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