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Welcome to the Dawson Active Learning Website.



Led by faculty, informed by research, and supported by the administration, Dawson is a leader in the development of active learning pedagogical expertise, classrooms and resources.


What is Active Learning?

Active Learning is a broad term for describing instructional strategies that actively and meaningfully engage students in the learning process. Active learning shifts the focus of teaching and learning away from a transmission of knowledge model and toward a student-centered knowledge construction model. More…


Why Adopt Active Learning?

A growing body of research shows that active learning works. In a comprehensive meta-analysis of 225 studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, active learning was shown to increase exam scores and conceptual gains while lowering failure rates when compared to traditional, lecture oriented pedagogies (see: Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics, by Freeman et al.,(2014) and available at www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1319030111), and the benefits extend into all fields of teaching and learning (see: How Learning Works, by Susan Ambrose et al., 2010, and; Engaging Ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking and active learning in the classroom, by John C. Bean). An extensive list of articles and books on active learning is available at: https://www.saltise.ca/resources/articles-and-books/.


Active Learning Support at Dawson – The DALC

In order to develop active learning pedagogical capacity and resources, Dawson College has supported the growth and development of a Community of Practice – the Dawson Active Learning Community (DALC). Through the DALC, faculty develop their active learning expertise and know-how by attending regular peer-lead workshops, sharing best practices, applying for Fellowship opportunities, observing active learning expert peers, and working with mentors. More…


Active Learning Classrooms at Dawson

Dawson is a recognized leader in the design and development of active learning classrooms. Through an iterative process of design, research and implementation that started in 2008, Dawson faculty lead this effort to create effective active learning classrooms that are meant to diversify the teaching and learning environments available to students and faculty.


Active Learning Resources – visit SALTISE

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Supporting Active Learning & Technological Innovation in Studies of Education

There are an increasingly growing number of resources available when it comes to active learning strategies and activities. A particularly good set of resources, developed by the SALTISE organization that grew out of Dawson College and is based on researcher-practioner-partnerships (RPPs), are available at www.saltise.ca

Last Modified: February 27, 2020