Active learning involves learners’ efforts to actively construct their knowledge and occurs through discussion and collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. This approach is less common and requires thoughtful and deliberate preparation of the content, method, and materials. When done correctly, active learning benefits far outweigh those of passive learning.

Passive learning happens when the learner is listening and/or viewing the content; they are not a participant in the learning process. This approach is widely used in training and onboarding programs and is usually eLearning based or instructor-led with media support, such as slide presentations.

The Cornell University Center for Teaching Innovation outlines the benefits. Active learning reinforces important material, concepts, and skills; creates personal connections to the material; provides learners with an opportunity to think about, talk about, and process the content; and creates a sense of community. (Teaching.cornell.edu, 2020)

Michael Prince explains, “Active learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process. In short, it requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing” (Prince, 2004). Prince’s definition is drawn from foundational work done by Bonwell and Eison (Bonwell, 2000 and Eison, 2010) and has been widely accepted. (University of Michigan, Introduction to Active Learning, 2020)

The benefits apply far beyond the classroom making this approach an integral part of any organization’s learning curriculum. Active learning should be the preferred method when the content is mission critical to an organization’s success, when the learner outcomes drive the business forward, and when you want to establish an emotional connection between the learner and the content.

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AIM90’s mission is to curate unique learning experiences that maintain the human connection and increase information retention in a challenging and fun environment. AIM90 amplifies the impact when the content needs to drive learners to connect on an emotional level and when organizations want their teams to walk away with a deeper understanding of what was learned. AIM90 designs engaging remote, in-person, and hybrid programs.