Learning is not a spectator sport

This week, try an Active Learning Lecture.

1. If you are using PowerPoint, make your first slide a picture to show students a real life application of the ideas to be discussed that day.

2. Pause every 12 – 15 minutes to ask a purposeful question (one you have prepared) that requires students to apply theory to practice.

3. In the 3 – 5 minute pause, ask students to answer the question individually and then in a small group of 3. Use the Think, Write, Pair, Share strategy.

4. Ask for responses, give immediate feedback and correct misconceptions if necessary.

5. In another pause, do a comprehension check. Use the Quick Write strategy – ask students to write for 2 minutes about what they have learnt (or pose a problem for them to solve), then share with a peer for 1 minute or so.

6. At the end of the lesson, use the 3-2-1 strategy – ask students to write 3 things that have learned today, 2 things they found interesting and 1 question they still have. The question might be a Ticket to Exit that they hand to you on their way out.

7. Address the questions at the start of the next lesson.


Students will be more engaged to think critically and reflectively.
Students will be more collaborative and peer teaching might happen.
You can check and correct misconceptions immediately.
There are multiple opportunities to give and receive feedback.

(By Georgina Sanger at Griffith University)

“Learning is not a spectator sport” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987, p. 4).

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