Active Learning Strategies

Think Aloud Pair Problem Solving (TAPPS):

Many educators today agree that students learn more in an active learning environment than they do in a passive learning environment. Active Learning is a process wherein students are actively engaged in building understanding of facts, ideas, and skills through the completion of instructor directed tasks and activities. It is any type of activity that gets students involved in the learning process.

While strong conceptual understanding is important in solving analytical problems, it is also essential for the students to learn how to use their knowledge effectively in solving problems. Thinking aloud pair problem solving, which was first developed by Arthur Whimbey, aims to better understand thinking among the students (Whimbey & Lochhead, 1999) and to develop students’ cognitive processes associated with problem solving.

As the name suggests, this involves students working in pairs. One student (the problem solver) is required to read the problem aloud and think aloud during the problem solving process, which includes verbalizing everything they are thinking and doing. Another student (the listener) attends to the problem solver’s thinking and reminds him/ her to keep saying aloud what he or she are thinking or doing, while also asking for clarifications and pointing out errors being made.


  • To provide opportunities for students to meaningfully talk and listen, write, read, and reflect on the content and ideas.
  • To have students actively engage in the learning process.
  • To have students learn to identify relevant information and apply it in the solution of a problem.
  • To have students learn and practice problem-solving strategies.

Expected Outcome(S):

  • Students to have actively engaged in the learning process
  • Students to learn to identify relevant information and apply it in the solution of a problem
  • Students to learn and practice problem-solving strategies

In – Class Teams:

Active learning is anything course-related that all students in a class session are required to do, other than simply watching, listening and taking notes. Active Learning shifts focus from what the instructor should deliver to what the students should be able to do Compared to students taught traditionally, students taught in a manner that in corporate small-group learning achieve higher grades, learn at a deeper level, retain information longer are less likely to drop out of school, acquire greater communication and teamwork skills, and gain a better understanding of the environment in which they will be working as professionals.


  • To encourage team work
  • To promote peer learning
  • Retention of concepts for longer period of time


  • Improves interpersonal skills
  • Promotes peer learning
  • Effective engagement of class
  • Measurable performance


Collaborative Learning is a relationship among learners that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face primitive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better).


  • To enhance problem solving, creativity and thinking skills in students
  • To understand team-based learning as an approach to collaborative learning
  • To make students understand complex concepts
  • To develop oral communication skills, Fosters and develops interpersonal relationships

There are many collaborative techniques which include think-pair-share, jigsaw, etc.


Think-pair-share (TPS) is a collaborative learning strategy in which students work together to solve a problem or answer a question about an assigned reading. This technique requires students to

Think: Teachers begin by asking a specific higher-level question about the topic to the students. Students “think” about what they know or have learned about the topic for a given amount of time (usually 1-3 minutes).

Pair: Each student should be paired with another student. Teachers may choose whether to assign pairs or let students pick their own partner. Students share their thinking with their partner, discuss ideas, and ask questions of their partner about their thoughts on the topic (2-5 minutes).

Share: Once partners have had ample time to share their thoughts and have a discussion, teachers expand the “share” into a whole-class discussion. Allow each group to choose who will present their thoughts, ideas, and questions they had to the rest of the class.


  • Divide students into 5- or 6-person jigsaw groups.
  • Divide the day’s lesson into 5-6 segments.
  • Assign each student to learn one segment.
  • Give students time to read over their segment at least twice and become familiar
  • Form temporary “expert groups” by having one student from each jigsaw group join other students assigned to the same segment.
  • Bring the students back into their jigsaw groups.
  • Ask each student to present her or his segment to the group.
  • Float from group to group, observing the process.
  • At the end of the session, give a quiz on the material


Instructional environments that allow for students to be more actively engaged with course material are more likely to lead to greater learning gains. The literature in engineering and science education continues to encourage faculty and instructors to use class exercises that require students to be actively engaged in the course material, as opposed to being passive recipients of information.

Engineering students benefit from an active and interactive classroom environment where they can be guided through the problem solving process. Typically faculty members spend class time presenting the technical content required to solve problems, leaving students to apply this knowledge and problem solve on their own at home. There has recently been a surge of the flipped, or inverted, classroom where the technical content is delivered via online videos before class. Students then come to class prepared to actively apply this knowledge to solve problems or do other activities. In this paper, recommendations are made for applying this educational technique to large engineering classrooms.


  • To motivate students to learn concepts on their own
  • To aid students obtain timely information (via preliminary assessments) about their learning before class and thereby adapt learning style.
  • Students come to the class with prior knowledge of the concepts and these concepts are reinforced in the class by solving some logical and critical thinking problems based on the topic.
  • Ensures long lasting retention of the concepts


  • Confidence levels of students will improve, when they solve a problem or complete a task on their own without the help of the faculty.
  • Improves self learning ability of the students
  • Students will learn at their own pace and helps in retaining concepts for a longer period of time.


In general the teacher provides the students with an assignment and the students submit the assignment answers in its learning. The teacher then corrects the assignment and assesses it. Whereas group writing assignments are given to student groups for the purpose of producing an Authenticated document.

In the academic world, all of us are likely to participate in some form of group writing—an undergraduate group project for a class or a collaborative/group research paper. Writing in a group can have many benefits: multiple brains are better than one, both for generating ideas and for getting a job done. However, working in a group can sometimes be stressful because there are various opinions and writing styles to incorporate into one final product that pleases everyone. This handout will offer an overview of the collaborative process, strategies for writing successfully together, and tips for avoiding common pitfalls. It will also include links to some other handouts that may be especially helpful as your group moves through the writing process.


  • Students will gain opportunities to collaborate effectively.
  • Students have opportunities to see how other students view the same topic.
  • Use assignment that has authentic purpose and audience such as creating Wikipedia entries or study guides for the course.
  • An assignment with an authentic purpose and audience can increase student’s interest and commitment