From Diversifying Economic Quality: A Wiki for Instructors and Departments
Active learning is the process of engaging with students in class through active means such as discussions and group work, as opposed to passively listening to an expert or a teacher. The in-class inquiry and cooperative learning activities emphasizes higher-order thinking. Freeman et al. found that active learning produces significant improvement in student performance across all STEM disciplines.
Evidence of Active
Freeman et al. (2014) conducted a metaanalysis of 225 studies that compared student performance under traditional lecturing versus active learning in STEM undergraduate courses. The results showed that average exam scores improved by 6% in active learning sections and students in traditional lecturing sections were 1.5 times more likely to fail the course. The effects held across all STEM disciplines and all class sizes although it was greatest in small classes. The paper supports "active learning as the preferred, empirically validated teaching practice in regular classrooms."
How to Employ Active Learning