Active Learning Techniques
Leading question A question so framed as to guide the student questioned to respond
with a particular obvious answer. This answer is then explored in further depth which
may ultimately conclude with an answer that was not so explicit, or one that fosters
cognitive dissonance, moral challenging, or self-questioning on the part of the student.
Puzzle, enigma, contradiction Information presented to student that is accurate, but is
either incomplete, ambiguous, or paradoxical in nature.
Insight, epiphany The capacity to discern the inward or hidden nature of things or of
perceiving in an intuitive manner. A comprehension or perception of a topic by means of
a sudden intuitive realization.
Empathy Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and
motives. The attribution of one's own feelings to a situation or person in a story.
Connecting a topic Pointing out similarities between the topic to be studied and one
that is more contemporary, more familiar, or more interesting to your students.
Stereotype, conventional wisdom A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified
conception, opinion, or image that often stands in for reality. These can be explored
further by examining them in more complexity, in different contexts, or analyzing the
rationales/origins for the stereotypes in the first place.
Challenges to knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes Devil’s advocate: to argue against a
cause or position not as a committed opponent but purely in order to provoke a discussion
or argument, or to determine the validity of the cause or position. Focused questioning:
Questioning designed to extract the underlying assumptions, situatedness, or logical
construction of a cause, position, or opinion.
Poll, pretest A poll is a survey conducted about a topic by asking questions that can be
answered by yes/no or agree/disagree. These generally give quick collective feedback
which can influence the ensuing...