While working on a SIGCSE paper, I was trying to decide if I needed a citation for “Active learning is good.” While investigating this claim, I came across a nifty little paper: Folk Pedagogy: Nobody doesn’t like Active Learning. Briefly, the authors conducted a survey of CS instructors and a review of the relevant literature to find the following, succinct observation:
“… A strong consensus that active learning is good. There were no papers arguing against active learning.”
The paper is written playfully in some places and was quite enjoyable, but the real treat from my perspective was section 5.5 “A Set of Instructional Techniques”. The authors cover a wide breadth of 38 techniques that could be considered active learning. Their lovely little catalog seems like a good mine to come back to, so I wanted to write this short blog post to remind myself to return to their paper.
By the way, I’m not going to cite anything about Active Learning. I’m sure the authors would also be chagrined to find that I’m barely going to define what I mean by Active Learning :)