Ramont Smith

Ramont Smith

Active vs Passive Learning

What is Active & Passive Learning?
Passive and active learning refer to two distinctly different approaches to absorbing information. Passive learning involves consuming information without requiring any active engagement or interaction, such as listening to a lecture, reading a book, or watching a video. Active learning, on the other hand, involves engaging in thought processes and interactions that facilitate deeper understanding of a topic, like collaborative learning activities, problem-solving exercises, discussion groups, or presentations.

An image depicts the differences between these two types of learning.

Here are some key differences between passive and active learning:

1. Level of engagement: Passive learners tend to maintain a more passive role and are less compelled to participate in their learning. Active learners, on the other hand, tend to engage in a more active role, with more involvement in information assimilation and analysis.

2. Responsibility: Passive learners tend to assume little responsibility for their learning experience, relying primarily on external sources. Active learners tend to take more responsibility for and control over their learning, seeking individualized feedback on performance and taking steps to motivate themselves continuously.

3. Depth of understanding: Passive learners tend to retain limited depth of understanding about the material, primarily memorizing specific facts or pieces of information. Active learners, on the other hand, are more likely to have a thorough understanding of the concepts, thinking critically, and drawing linkages with previous experiences.

4. Motivation: Passive learners tend to rely solely on extrinsic motivators, such as incentives, rewards or grades. Active learners tend to draw greater internal motivation from a personal sense of curiosity or desire to learn and understand a given subject.

How Speaking Impacts Active Learning?

Speaking is a crucial component of active learning styles. It is an interactive way to promote deeper understanding of new concepts and ideas by encouraging students to verbalize their thoughts, questions, and ideas. Engaging in speaking activities helps the learners to articulate information, think critically, and connect new information to pre-existing knowledge. 

Here are some key ways speaking fits into active learning styles:

1. Collaborative Learning: Group discussions and debates encourage learners to articulate their thoughts and ideas to peers. During group discussions, learners may also respond to each other’s thoughts and provide feedback that promotes deeper comprehension.

2. Presentations: Giving presentations help learners to synthesize their learning into a coherent narrative suitable for sharing, improving communication skills in the process.

3. Q&A Sessions: Active participation in asking questions, and answering them contributes towards class participation, engagement, and confidence-building.

4. Brainstorming: Brainstorming sessions can generate new and creative ideas by encouraging learners to voice unique perspectives or ideas, enabling collaboration and facilitating problem-solving exercises.

5. Role-playing: In role-playing, learners engage with the content by assuming specific roles, taking different perspectives, and practicing communication and negotiation skills in a fun and engaging way.

How To Increase Active Learning In Passive Lectures?
Finding a way to increase mental activity in passive lectures is a challenge that many students face. While lectures can be a great way to gain information, passive lectures can lead to boredom and lack of engagement. However, there are ways to increase mental activity in passive lectures, such as reframing one’s expectations and perceptions. 

When approaching a lecture, it can be useful to think of it as an experiment. Students can look at lectures as experiments that can be tested and explored, rather than simply taking in the material. This can open up a new way of thinking and lead to more curiosity, as well as help students to approach the lecture material in a more engaging way. 

Another useful way to increase mental activity during passive lectures is to look for connections between the lecture material and personal life experiences. If students can find a personal connection or relevancy to the lecture material, it will be easier to remember it and be more engaged in the lecture experience. This can be particularly helpful if the subject matter is abstract or not related to a student’s major or academic interests. 

Additionally, it is important to use a variety of strategies and tools during passive lectures. Taking notes, asking questions, and engaging in discussion with others can all be useful ways to keep mentally engaged. Additionally, using lecture reinforcement activities such as study groups or individual quizzes can help to increase learning and keep students actively engaged. 

Increasing mental activity in passive lectures does not have to be a difficult task when one knows the right strategies. In our transformative workshop, we open new mental doors for students looking to increase mental activity. This course helps students shift away from only using traditional learning to incorporating a whole mind learning technique. The transformative approach allows students to discover what works for them in the framework of the course.

The end result is students become more engaged, achieve greater success, think more critically and creatively, rather than just receiving information. 

Related Article: Emotion & Curiosity In Learning

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