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Practicing Pedagogies: Active Teaching & Learning

The purpose of the series is to help faculty foster a collaborative peer review approach to information literacy instruction and course development.


Active Teaching & Learning
28th April: 10:00-11:30am.
Witt Room.

Catherine Fraser Riehle, Associate Professor & Learning Resources Design Librarian



Share your thoughts from the readings,  or while  you attend the session, feel free to share  on this note board.  You can continue to jot down notes anytime after the session about anything you found interesting  or insightful. 


Please complete our Reflection Form

Thank you!


Active Teaching & Learning

A few definitions of active learning:

“…anything course-related that all students in a class session are called upon to do other than simply watching a lecture and taking notes” (Felder & Brent, 2009)

 “The process of keeping students mentally, and often physically, active in their learning through activities that involve them in gathering information, thinking, and problem solving” (Michael & Modell, 2003)

“…instructional activities involving students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing” (Bonwell & Eison,1991)

Session Pre-Work

  1. Watch “Active vs Passive: The Science of Learning,” a 9 minute(ish) video featuring Nigel Nisbet, VP of Content Creation at MIND Research Institute.
  2. Read, Where’s the Evidence that Active Learning Works?” (Michael, 2006), focusing in particular on pages 159-162 and “Conclusions,” and be prepared to share an important, intriguing, or surprising takeaway.
  3. Consider an instructional scenario from your own teaching practice – a session, assignment, module, course, etc. – that you wish was more active. Be ready to work with it in light of session content. 





Walsh, A., & Inala, P. (2010). Active learning techniques for librarians: Practical examples. Cambridge: Chandos. 


Bonwell, C.C., & Sutherland, T.E. (1996). The active learning continuum: Choosing activities to engage students in the classroom. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 67, 3-16.

Campisi, J., & Finn, K.E. (2011). Does active learning improve students' knowledge of and attitudes toward research methodsJournal of College Science Teaching , 40(4), 38-45.

Cook, D.B., & Klipfel, K.M. (2015). How do our students learn? An outline of a cognitive psychological model for information literacy instructionReference & User Services Quarterly, 55(1), 34-41. 

Daniel Kaufer: What can neuroscience research teaching us about teaching? UC Berekely: GSI Teaching & Resource Center.

Fosmire, M., & Macklin, A. (2002). Riding the active learning wave: Problem-based learning as a catalyst for creating faculty-librarian instructional partnerships. Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship

Maybee, C., Doan, T., & Flierl, M. (2016). Information literacy in the active learning classroomThe Journal of Academic Librarianship , 42, 705-711.

Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the researchJournal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231. 

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