Active learning VS passive learning

The first part of our project is allowing us to reflect on the different scopes and use of multiple devices. Laptops, tablets, smartphones and other devices offer different learning and user experiences, according to the size of the screen, availability of pointing devices etc. All these devices are used in active learning!

You can have more information checking this article (First Feedback from the Multiple Device Survey).

We are also brainstorming on the fact that it is not only about the selected device, but also on the type of learning process we are involved in.

For example, have you ever found yourself listening to a podcast when seated in the underground? Or reading on a train? On the contrary, have you ever felt more comfortable in using laptops when debating with others or creating something more complex?

Here we can find the big distinction between active and passive learning.

Active learning means that the student is actively involved in the instructional process through the use of engaging activities and discussions.  Passive learning is more about absorbing information watching a video, reading articles or e-books or listening to podcasts, for example.

In the first case, the size of the screen and the use of pointing devices may largely have an impact on the learning experience. This is not true for passive learning, where maybe you may need some headphones to follow the video or the audio.

As a result, we are reaching the conclusion that the best tool to support the learning very much depends on the learning process activated.  This is especially true if we consider smartphones: we have them at our disposal anytime and anywhere, but their user experience can be more difficult. As a result, smartphones are mostly used for passive learning, and they are not very user-friendly when it comes to active learning. Devices such as laptops or tablets fit better the purpose of active learning.     

In any case we can affirm that the best ally for any kind of learning process… is a good coffee 😉


Note: You will find an interesting example (in the form of a case study) here: Flipped Adult Education

About the Author: Cristina Checcarelli is president of EuphoriaNet (Rome, Italy) and an expert in modern teaching and training methods.

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