Active Learning: Beyond The Trend

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Active learning has been trending in higher education recently. Utilizing active learning best practices within an online or blended learning environment requires thoughtful design and consideration of student accessibility needs. Workshop participants will learn innovative active learning strategies and will be provided with templates for their use at their institution.


Alyssa has been a Knight since 2008 when she started her undergraduate degree at UCF. Upon graduating with her BS in psychology, she became a middle school language arts teacher, which continued to grow her love for education. While teaching, she realized her passion for online learning, which prompted her to pursue her MA in Instructional Design and Technology at UCF with a focus on eLearning. Before completing her MA, she interned with the Center for Distributed Learning during the summer of 2017 and was subsequently offered a position as an instructional designer. Her research interests include quality in online courses, active learning, online engagement, and Faculty/ID collaboration. In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys spending time with her friends and family at Disney, traveling, and reading.
Ashley is an Instructional Designer at the University of Central Florida, Center for Distributed Learning. Prior to joining the CDL team, Ashley taught in the K-12 environment where she developed her skill set to advance and apply effective teaching practices. Her current research interests include professional development for teaching online, application of emerging technologies, and the use of OER materials.

Extended Abstract

After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Enhance the online and blended learning environment with various active learning strategies

  • Design active learning strategies, while considering student accessibility needs

  • Utilize templates to overcome challenges of incorporating active learning in the online environment

During this express workshop, participants are expected to:

  • Explore provided active learning strategy templates

  • Collaborate with other participants during the planning stages of an action plan on utilizing specific active learning strategies at their institution

  • Participate in small and large group discussions regarding design options for various active learning strategies in the online and blended environments

  • Interact with a variety of technology tools and determine how these tools could strengthen content delivery

Express Workshop Agenda:

5-minute Introduction

    Workshop facilitators will introduce themselves followed by an introductory explanation of the research findings on active learning and provide an overview of the workshop.

20-minute Active Learning Classroom Participation

Participation within the active learning classroom will begin with interactive presentations, incorporating active learning techniques, which will focus on three active learning strategies.

  1. Role Play

  2. Online Debates

  3. Interactive Exit Tickets

Relevant research, applicability across disciplines, accessibility concerns, challenges during implementation, and techniques for overcoming these challenges will be examined for each strategy. This highly-interactive portion of the workshop will model effective teaching practices, regarding how a classroom should be set-up during a blended course experience when leveraging active learning principles to enhance instruction. Furthermore, this portion of the workshop will lay the foundation necessary for the collaborative experience activities that take place during the second half of the workshop.

20-minute Collaborative Experience

Participants will work in small groups to explore online templates for presented active learning strategies. A digital action plan activity will guide participants to plan for use of implementing the provided templates and strategies. Through this collaborative experience, participants will be able to enhance their instruction and/or courses at their institution.