Computer and pencils on a desk
Active learning

Activity / engagement may be:

  • behavioural (hands-on): learners are physically doing an activity
  • cognitive (minds-on): learners are thinking about the material to be learnt
  • emotional (feelings-on): learners enjoy the activity and / or they are interested in it
Cognitive activity is what leads to deep learning. Behavioural activity might (or might not) be a means of achieving cognitive activity. Emotional engagement motivates learners to work beyond minimum requirements

Additional resources: Read and engage: Active learning


Examples of behavioural activity in on-line learning:

  • learners answer an electronic quiz, e.g. using Quizlet or Kahoot!
  • learners manipulate variables in a PhET simulation, and answer questions about it
  • learners pause a You-tube movie at certain places to answer questions, in a worksheet or in an online quiz, about what the movie has explained so far, or to make predictions about what will come next in the movie
  • learners choose from given options / suggest their own option, and justify their choice, on a Padlet 'corkboard', e.g. for what they predict will be observed for a given experiment / what they think will happen next in their English / Sesotho / Afrikaans setbook.

Examples of cognitive activity:

  • learners think about the answers to quiz questions, and make connections between these answers and their prior knowledge
  • learners think about the meanings of, and relationships between variables in a PhET simulation, predict observations, notice and explain patterns, and design and critique investigations
  • learners think about what a You-tube movie is saying, linking this information to their prior knowledge, and critiquing its relevance and value
  • learners think about possible outcomes, e.g. to an experiment / to a story, critique various possibilities and justify the outcome they think most probable.   |   University of the Free State South Campus   |   +27 51 451 1024 / +27 78 508 0848


Access (UAP)

+27 51 401 9111 (Option 2)

Open Distance and E-learning Programmes
Deborah Pietersen
+27 51 505 1394

Short Learning Programmes
Keneilwe Mogotsi

Kovsie Phahamisa Academy

South campus webpage1

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