The lesson plans and activities that you see here were built by collaborative teams whose members had varying amounts of previous teaching experience and varying amounts of previous professional development, formal or informal, in active learning pedagogy. The plans and activities employ active learning to differing degrees and in different ways. Some have been road-tested, some have not. The project has been a valuable learning experience for our teams, who worked in consultation with specialists from the Center for Teaching and Learning. More generally, they have created a variable resource for each other and for other instructors who can select from among the various lesson plans to incorporate active learning into their courses as much as possible. The lesson plans are available for non-commercial use with attribution under a creative commons license that encourages users to take them and tweak them to meet their own needs.
Active learning in the classroom takes time. At times, the desire to incorporate effective but time-consuming activities in class runs at cross purposes to the need to cover all of the topics required for the course. Even if you feel you cannot use all or even most of the lesson plans and still covered all of the required topics, we hope you will explore what we’ve developed here and use as many of them as you feel you can fit into your semester. If you try one of the lessons, we hope you will come back to the blog to provide us with feedback on how it went. Did it work well? Did it take up more or less time than budgeted on the lesson plan? Did you try out an idea to improve upon it or scale it up or down to fit the size of your class? Share your ideas and feedback so others can learn from your experiences!