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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Active Learning

Effective Active Learning Techniques


Active learning is a student-centered approach in which planned activities are used to engage the student as an active participant in their learning. Techniques such as guided questioning, think-pair-share, one-minute paper and other such exercises improve student retention of material and can enhance the traditional lecture format. However, active learning strategies can be difficult for new teaching assistants to implement because they require preparation and skills in guiding and moderating the learning activity. 

This workshop examines the planning system necessary to incorporate such activities and attendees will actively participate in numerous active learning techniques applicable to a wide range of classroom settings. View this video to learn helpful tips on what you can do, how to do it, and why active learning in the classroom is important to student learning.

About the Facilitator

Michelle L. Hardee is the Program Manager for Graduate Student programs at the Center for Teaching Excellence. She received her Ph.D. in Marine Science from USC, during which time she authored two Introductory Oceanography lab manuals for undergraduates. Throughout her career, Michelle has been actively involved in marine science education and teacher training. She taught throughout her graduate program and as an Adjunct Professor of Geology at the College of Charleston. 


"Thank you for another valuable experience! The interactive techniques that you provided will come with me in every teaching position that I will ever have!" – Educational Studies

"This seminar was quite interesting, I learned good learning techniques for efficient learning which saves lot of time of students and makes course work interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation, Dr. Hardee's oratory skills were so engaging. By any measure she is a very effective speaker and educator. Thanks for this presentation." – Computer Sciences

"This seminar is one of the best seminars I had taken part in, and it is not only helpful for TAs to teach, but also good for us to learn as students ourselves." – Health Services Policy and Management

"These techniques are very useful in practice and will improve the value our work in a great deal, more importantly, students will get what they really need and benefit from these techniques." – Epidemiology & Biostatistics

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