Active learning is an exciting approach to teaching that seeks to expand the classroom experience beyond the lecture. While there as many definitions of active learning as there are faculty utilizing it, a good starting point is to view active learning as a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving, that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content. Active learning can take many forms, including: cooperative learning, problem-based learning, case methods, simulations, peer instruction, group discussion, self-assessment, think-pair-share, brainstorming, writing, role playing. Research has shown that active learning, when compared to individualistic learning, improves academic achievement, the quality of interpersonal interactions, self-esteem, and perceptions of greater social support (Price, M.  “Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research.” J. Engr. Educ. 93, 223-231).
DCS and Academic Scheduling and Instructional Space seek to provide learning spaces that facilitate active learning methods. Active learning classrooms encourage engagement and collaboration through design features such as collaborative seating, movable furniture, and student workspace. To create a community of practice to support the use of these of room and further develop active learning at Rutgers, DCS, Scheduling, Rutgers Learning Centers, and the School of Arts & Sciences partner with multiple areas of Rutgers through the Active Learning Community, a group of faculty and staff that meets to learn, share, design, and support active learning at Rutgers.
Visit this section's various resources to learn more about active learning occurring on the New Brunswick campuses:
- Read more about the Active Learning Community and sign up to receive future updates.
- Get information about active learning spaces at Rutgers-NB.
- Learning more about May's Rutgers Active Learning Symposium.
- Request to teach in an Active Learning Classroom by informing your department’s scheduling staff so that they can make the request in the CourseAtlas scheduling system.
- Check out the latest news in active learning at RU.
- Register for an upcoming active learning event.