Active Participation

What is active participation?

Active participation refers to instructional strategies that meaningfully engage students in the learning process, as opposed to simply receiving the information from the teacher. Active participation is considered an important element of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework for reducing educational barriers to promote inclusive and accessible learning.

Why is active participation important to promoting academic success?

Most people learn best by actively engaging with whatever subject or topic they are studying. With experiential and hands-on approaches, learners can maintain interest and become more directly familiar with the specific concepts, which can improve comfort and confidence with the topic.

Additionally, by encouraging participation and individual exploration of concepts, instructors can increase interest in their students while allowing them to take ownership of their learning and academic success.

What are some examples of active participation?

Instructors can foster active participation by:

  • Balancing lectures and hands-on activities in instruction
  • Breaking (scaffolding) complex assignments and projects into smaller, more accessible tasks
  • Including self-reflection in activities
  • Providing numerous resources for learners

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