Active Learning Strategies

Learning is a continuous whole life process. The teaching-learning process cannot take place in a vacuum. This process requires settings or environment where teaching and learning take place. It dictates what, how and why students learn. Therefore, an appropriate learning environment is compulsory which has a strong impact on students’ learning experiences and outcomes in the classroom.

There are a number of factors that influence the learning process and achievement of students in classroom settings. These include teacher, students, content, learning process, learning styles, strategies and learning situation. One of them is active learning strategies which play a crucial role to keep students engaged and allow them to become successful in an academic course

Active learning strategies are those activities that occur inside the classrooms and involve learners. The most important aspect of active learning strategies is that it allows students focusing on what they are doing. There are a number of active learning strategies such as simulation, problem-based learning, assignment making and presenting on power-point.  When activities and sessions in the classrooms are made interactive, then it itself becomes a productive environment for the learners. Some other active learning strategies are role-playing, group work, case studies, and concept mapping. It is also noticed that using active learning strategies such as short answer exam, class presentations or working on clinical projects leads to better learning with a student-centered approach.

Active learning strategies are practices of pedagogical engagements that allow better transfer of knowledge. Discussions also facilitate the process of active learning and there is a range of methods of keeping students engaged and enriched in classrooms, leading to the development of a collaborative learning environment where the students are stimulated to support their views. It has been already established that the engagement of nursing and midwifery learners is increased using the stimulation and other related active learning pedagogies

Students’ perception of active learning in the classroom is of great importance. Students perceived that active learning is beneficial for their learning. They learn more when maximum time is dedicated to these strategies. It encourages their participation in the class. Researches show that students also stated that active learning has improved their understanding of course material and they feel comfortable with these teaching-learning strategies.

Features of active learning strategies aid in involvement of learners in listening, encouragement to share their thoughts and values, an invitation to participate in higher-level thinking rather than cramming Active learning is most crucial element of learning through engagement which ultimately is the best source of teaching and learning regardless of the content and mechanism for content delivery. However, there remain some key challenges for learning in such an environment in terms of students engagement.

There is a high number of students in the nursing class and thus the educators have to face challenges of providing in such a class environment. The educators also have to consider the challenge of altering the content in such ways that it becomes possible to carry out active learning activities and thus practice classroom engagement.  Hence, it is a goal for the higher education faculty members and institutions to develop and practice educational interventions that stimulate the learning process through engagement.