Active Learning Reinforces Learning

Source: Scientific American, Aug 2013

Our scheme to help make learning happen actively, rather than passively, created many benefits akin to tutoring—and helped to increase motivation.

First, as shown in a 2013 study by Karl K. Szpunar, Novall Y. Khan and Daniel L. Schacter in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, frequent interactions keep attention from wandering.

Second, as William B. Wood and Kimberly D. Tanner describe in a 2012 Life Sciences Education paper, learning is enhanced when students work to construct their own explanations, rather than passively listening to the teacher’s.

That is why a properly designed automated intelligent tutoring system can foster learning outcomes as well as human instructors can, as Kurt van Lehn found in a 2011 meta-analysis in Educational Psychologist.

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