Active Learning and E-learning to innovate the learning environment


The term active learning (active learning) are defined all the teaching methodologies that are based on learning by doing (learning by doing).

As early as 1991 Charles C. Bonwell and James A. Eison (Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom), they experimented with this approach to education, ensuring that students learn best when actively involved in the lesson, through the discussion of work materials, engaging in role play, case studies, short written exercises, etc., that allow the acquisition of a greater understanding of each new information and skills.

The active learning consists in the constant construction of new knowledge, creates a learning environment that insists on the strengthening of higher order thinking skills, exploration and creates bridges between raw data and the real-world problems. It requires students to participate actively and continuously in their learning path, giving him the opportunity to create knowledge with social negotiation.


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Some of the most common (and known) active learning methods are: brainstorming, debates, discussions, project work and role-play.

An essential resource for active learning is the e-learning. As we have already seen in some items earlier, the word e-learning comes from two words Electronic and Learning. It means the use of multimedia technologies and the Internet for the dissemination of information at a distance. One of the major advantages of e-learning is its high level of flexibility, which allows the delivery of an educational student-friendly. It can access the educational resources breaking down the spatial and temporal limits.

Substantial element for the use of educational resources and the development of training activities is the application technology platform, named LMS (Learning Management System), which enables the delivery of courses in e-learning through the creation of specific training environments (classrooms virtual).

Active learning in e-learning

Systemic model for e-learning active learning consists of three phases and four prerequisites.

The phases are …

  1. Underpinning: is the learning core, which strengthens and supports learning at all stages;
  2. Property: it gives an identity to each student to influence and control the status of their own learning;
  3. Engagement: is the addictive stage that actively strengthens the building of a community of learners to build knowledge.

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The prerequisites are …

  1. Class size: in a course in the presence, generally, the more the class is small, the greater the effectiveness on student learning. In online courses, however, too small a class does not produce more knowledge, since there is interaction; the ideal number of students for each virtual class, therefore, is 15-20 subjects;
  2. Active support and responsive: you must maintain a positive relationship, useful and constructive with the students and with the teachers, thus contributing to global learning success;
  3. Clear indications and detailed on the course are crucial to the success of e-learning model. It is important to tell students: how it will be realized the course (e.g. synchronous or asynchronous), if it is required software and / or hardware, a short guide describing the LMS platform used, the methodology used to active learning, deadlines for any work to be done individually and / or in a group, a brief guide on how and when to use interactive tools on the platform, etc.
  4. Usability of e-learning platform: Distance learning depends a lot from usability of the platform used. The following elements are essential: pleasing visual appearance and relaxing, appropriate and correct font size, visibility of link, user friendly, organization, readability, simplicity, comfort, immediacy, navigability, control, speed, loading, organization, readability, relevance, texture, etc.

The model is systemic, because all the tasks and prerequisites of the working model must work together and in their entirety for creating e-learning successful learning.

This model requires that students and teachers are open-minded, self-motivated, self-disciplined and that demonstrate a high level of commitment to learning.

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