Active Learning

CRLT is always interested in building the most inclusive resources, and we would love to highlight the wide range of active learning techniques already in use across campus. If you are interested in sharing your classroom practice, please complete the form below and we will follow up with you directly.  


Resources from CRLT and Other Teaching Centers

Note: OccP stands for "Occasional Paper(s)"

Arthur F. Thurnau Professors' videos on Engaging Students in the Classroom and Beyond - These videos showcase some of the innovative active learning techniques already being used throughout the University.

Professor Thad Polk video thumbnail  Professor Alford Young engaging students video thumbnail  Professor Alford Young discussing challenging issues video thumbnail Read more »

Faculty Name Lesli Hoey
Course Urban and Regional Planning 570
  • Real world Case Studies
  • Community Resources
  • Professional - Academic Interface


Lesli Hoey was faced with the challenge of giving her students access to real-world challenges that practitioners in planning fields face, despite not having access to sites and practitioners in real-time. Her class centers around example case studies with space for individual reflection and peer instruction to build their competencies before they enter the field as globally-aware and competent professionals. Read more »

Faculty Name Lisa Young
Course Archaeology 285
  • Scaffolded Writing Assignments
  • Media Texts
  • Active Discussion Techniques


Looking for ways to stay engaged after teaching the same course for ten years, Lisa Young added active learning techniques gradually to reinvigorate material and enhance the teaching of critical thinking and analysis without drastically changing the structure of the course in any one term.

Active Learning in the Course

Concerned with how students were recognizing and implementing argumentation and evidence in their reading and writing, the class was reorganized to center around article critiques. Lectures, assignment prompts, and feedback were all presented from the viewpoint of a single rubric, so students became comfortable recognizing, restating, and eventually making their own complex arguments. Over time, lectures became almost “flipped” in that students would watch a video together in class, and then through discussion, generate consensus around the claim, argument structure, and use of evidence in each case. Read more »

Students seated in groups working on an assignmentFaculty Name Tami Remington and TBL Faculty Team
Course Therapeutics Problem Solving Sequence (Pharmacy Courses 512, 602, 702, 712)
  • Flipped Course
  • Individual Assessment
  • Team Assessment


To prepare for an accreditation process, the U-M College of Pharmacy wanted to create more competitive graduates. To achieve this goal, they reformatted their curriculum to focus on critical thinking and problem solving, as well as building the skills to encourage lifelong learning. Faculty were encouraged to “flip” their classrooms, and move away from primarily lecturing, where students work through self-study materials before class meetings, and work through team modules and assessments in the class meeting. This Team-Based Learning (TBL) approach was adopted after much discussion across the entire five course sequence. Read more »