Active student engagement: The heart of effective learning

Rebecca Strachan, Lalith Liyanage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The chapter’s focal argument is that the format, duration and delivery of a course are most effective when the underlying philosophy is to engage students actively in their learning. This philosophy should be at the heart of the course’s design, development and delivery. The authors draw on their experiences of higher education in both the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka and across full-time, part-time, distance learning and work-based learning to illustrate that a variety of formats and delivery approaches are possible, but the crucial element is to ensure that students are active not passive learners. This theory aligns with a learner-centred, constructivist approach and lends itself to more authentic learning. Using examples from a number of different disciplines, the authors discuss the variation that can occur in course delivery and format whilst still encouraging and supporting an active learning approach. The final section of the chapter will focus on how this approach may require staff to adopt new methods of learning, teaching and assessment and their professional development plays a crucial role, including adapting to new technologies to provide an active learning student experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Innovation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
EditorsPrudence C. Layne, Peter Lake
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages369
ISBN (Print)9783319104829
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameProfessional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education


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