FD6- Teaching for student active learning | Autumn 23

The aim of the module is to problematize the meanings of student active learning as part of our teaching in higher education. This requires work with and discussion about what conditions student active learning is based on and how we can implement it in our own teaching.

Module description

Student active learning is defined by Prince (2004) as: “[…] any instructional method that engages students in the learning process. In short, active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing. […] The core elements of active learning are student activity and engagement in the learning process. Active learning is often contrasted with the traditional lecture where students passively receive information from the instructor. ”

Meta-studies present a picture that active students give better learning results than lectures. We must therefore work together to develop student-active learning cultures, where students are expected to get involved in their own learning work. In such an expectation lies what is considered «student-active forms of learning» and how these can be practiced and evaluated.

The aim of the module is to bring out and problematize the meanings of student-active forms of learning in teaching in higher education. This requires work with and discussion about the conditions on which student-active learning methods are based. To develop and evaluate the consequences of using student-active learning methods, knowledge is needed of what teachers do to meet the intention of student-active learning methods.

In the module, we want to actualize what you think and do in your own teaching, and how knowledge about the student-active form of learning can be actualized and contribute to your work with students' learning.

Key concepts

  • Student-active learning
  • teaching
  • problem-based learning
  • project-based learning
  • researchbased learning (IBL)
  • collaborative learning

Learning outcome description

  • Recreate what characterizes student active learning.
  • Understand how knowledge about student-active learning can promote teaching
    quality and learning for students over time.
  • Understand how assessment can be included in student-active learning
  • Actualize student-active learning in own teaching and evaluate the experiences of
    doing so
  • Be able to use student-active learning to renew your own future teaching practice

Learning activities

The module consists of three digital meetings:

  1. The first session introduces what student active learning is and some examples of
    known methods that can be used in teaching in higher education.
  2. Between the first and second meeting, you must problematize the consequences of
    actualizing student-active learning in your own teaching practice, and make a
    presentation for the other participants (10 minutes).
  3. In the second meeting we will present and discuss each other's presentations. You
    will also discuss how actualization of these methods can renew your own teaching
  4. Between the second and third meeting, you will try out student-active learning in
    your own teaching practice, or discuss it with colleges in your subject area. This
    should be the starting point for a presentation (10 minutes) where you discuss the
    consequences of actualizing student-active learning in your subject. What happens /
    can happen, and what is the way forward.
  5. In the third and final meeting, we will discuss the consequences of working with
    student-active learning in our own teaching.


  • Feedback on presentations on actualization of student active learning in own
    teaching practice (fellow students)
  • Final assessment: Openness to what student-active learning entails, and can
    document that you have started working with it in your own teaching.

Organization of the module

Three digital meetings + two intermediate work.

Digital sessions

First session: 07.09.23 at 09.15-12.00,

Second session: 27.09.23, at 09.15-12.00

Third session: 25.10.2023, at 09.15-12.00

Learning platform: Zoom

Relevant literature

Deslauriers, L., McCarty, L. S., Miller, K., Callaghan, K. and Kestin, G. (2019)
Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being
actively engaged in the classroom. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences. 116, 19251-19257

Freeman, S. (2014) Active learning increases student performance in science,
engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences 111, 8410–8415 (2014).

Prince, Michael. (2004). Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research.
Journal of Engineering Education. 93. 223-231. 10.1002/j.2168-

Damsa, C., de Lange T., Elken, M, Esterhazy, R., Fossland, T., Frølich, N.,
Hovdhaugen, N., Maassen, P., Nerland, M. B., Nordkvelle, Y. T., Stensaker, B.,
Tømte, C., Vabø, A., Wiers-Jenssen, J. & Aamodt P. O. (2015): Quality in
Norwegian Higher Education - A review of research on aspects affecting
student learning, Report 2015: 24.

Kjerland, G.Ø. and Annerstedt, C. (2021) Applying learning theories in learning
to teach - An education project in Physical Education Teacher Education.