Active Learning vs. Passive Learning

Characteristics of passive learning

1. You wait for directions and information to be fed to you.

2. Information is delivered to you – you just follow what is said or written, and do as you as told.

3. Different pieces of information are tested as separate units.

4. You repeat information without understanding.

5. you don’t reflect upon what you have learnt.

6. You may become bored and tired easily.

7. You use surface processing, in which case you are less likely to understand or remember.

8. You are less likely to be able to use what you learn.

9. What you study may seem irrelevant.

Characteristics of active learning

1. You look for ways of being more involved in what you are learning.

2. You are engaged in the whole learning process (and in a position to see why information has been selected).

3. You look for links between different things that you discover.

4. You make a conscious effort to make sense of, and find meaning in, what you learn. Understanding is usually deeper.

5. You are involved in reflection and self-evaluation.

6. Your attention span is longer because your mind is more fully engaged.

7. Long-term memory is assisted. If you understand what you learn, and keep relating what you learn to what you already know, you are more likely to remember what you have learnt.

8. Linking information helps you to see how you can apply it to different situations.

9. Learning is personalised and interesting.

The Study Skills Handbook 2nd Ed

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