Teaching Tools

DictionaryActive learning holds the potential to be a rewarding approach that can elevate student understanding and connection to course material. However, transforming a class is a very involved undertaking. It requires analyzing the anticipated learning outcomes, designing lesson plans that connect activities to that goal, and rethinking some of the components of a class that may no longer work in an active environment. This section seeks to help faculty tackle this challenge by providing resources that can help design and improve your use of active learning. The pages in this section are based on practices used and experiences shared at Rutgers and in the larger education community. The ideas chronicled within are often shaped by discussion in Active Learning Community workshops and continue to grow based on feedback from Community members. Share your ideas for a topic or an example by contacting us.

  • Activities: This page documents several of the most popular in-class active learning activities used at Rutgers and in Higher Education. Along with descriptions for activities, the page also includes examples and information for further reading. Start here to get an idea of what active learning actually looks like in the classroom and to see example that you can modify to fit your class.
  • Forming Groups:  Whether group activities succeed can often be a matter of how students were matched up in the first place. This list summaries various ways that you divide your class for collaborative work. We offer creative ways that you can pair students, divide the class in half, form groups of varying sizes, and even rotate groups.

You can continue your online research by becoming a member of the SCALE-UP community, with maintains an online repository of resources for active learning. For more help designing your course, consider working with the Office of Instructional & Research Technology's Instructional Design Team.