Active and Interactive Learning Strategies

Why is this important?

The use of active learning methods in Higher Education has become increasingly popular ‘reflecting a greater understanding of the learning process derived from educational research and cognitive psychology’ (Exley and Dennick 2009, p2). Engaging students in ‘discussion, questioning, problem solving and other forms of interactivity, has been shown to encourage ‘deeper’ learning’ (Exley and Dennick, 2009, p2), taking them beyond ‘surface’ knowledge and understanding (Biggs, 2003).


This page provides links to a range of teaching and learning strategies that facilitate students’ active and interactive engagement in, and with, their own learning. These sample resources are already being used by many of Queen’s staff and staff are encouraged to try something new.

Three-minute debate (Word 57KB)

Group project assignment (Word 61KB)

Using ICT in the Flexible Teaching Space (Word 57KB)

Interactive windows (Word 57KB)

Ignorance Logging - KWLN (Word 57 KB)

Peer-marking of practicals (Word 57KB)

Problem-based learning (PBL) (Word 86KB)

Problem-based learning in Food (Word 82KB)

Think-pair-share (word 57KB)

Using pre-session questions (Word 53KB)

Using pre-session reading (Word 53KB)

Other Useful Resources

Centre for Active and Interactive Learning, Queen’s University CETL

HEA Resource Centre

JISC Learning Resources

The Centre for Active Learning (CeAL) at University of Gloucestershire

Learning and Teaching Resources and Support from Oxford Brookes University

Doyle, T. (2008) Helping students learn in a learner-centered environment. A guide to facilitating learning in Higher Education, Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing LLC

Exley, K. & Dennick, R.G. (2004) Small Group Teaching: Tutorials, Seminars and Beyond, London: RoutledgeFalmer

Hartley, P., Woods, A. & Pill, M (eds) (2005) Enhancing Teaching in Higher Education: New Approaches for Improving Student Learning, London/New York: Routledge

Hativa, N. (2000) Teaching for Effective Learning in Higher Education, Dordrecht; Boston;  London: Kluwer Academic Publishers

Light, G., Cox, R. & Calkins, S. (2009, 2nd ed) Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, London: Sage 

Svinicki,M. & McKeachie, W.J. (2010, 13th ed) McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies,  research, and theory for college and university teachers, Wadsworth Publishing


Biggs, J. (2003, 2nd Ed) Teaching for Quality Learning at University, Maidenhead: The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press 

Exley, K. and Dennick, R.G. (2009, 2nd Ed) Giving a lecture: from Presenting to Teaching, Abingdon, Oxon. New York: Routledge