From Teaching to Learning - The Advantages of Passive vs. Active Learning Strategies

Passive Learning is the mode of learning most commonly present in classrooms.


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How have you incorporated affective learning into your classroom? I think this is one domain of learning that is often neglected or difficult to achieve. I know I have been working hard at bringing this area of learning into the classroom setting..


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Specializes in OB, HH, ADMIN, IC, ED, QI.
Great post, zsuzan! Variety is truly the spice of life and really adds to a positive learning experience in the classroom. I will have close to 140 students in my classroom next semester. I am currently investigating active learning strategies that work best in large classrooms.

I certainly hope you will divide the class into small groups for discussion, or different aspects of the subject; and have teaching assistants with each one. Otherwise, it will be difficult for your class to absorb the information given them in any format.


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thanks for a great reminder! i am an auditory and sequential learner so if you can just tell me, in the correct order, i get it. as a certified healthcare instructor, i am often challenged to integrate both learning styles due to time constraints in our short programs. we provide exam preparation to allied healthcare workers who are 'qualified professionals' via experience or schooling. in as little as two days these participants can obtain national certification in workshop formatted training programs. training has to be balanced to include the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners and diverse enough to reach adults of all ages and cultures. i believe our success depends greatly on the advantages of the two learning styles.

I really like how you talked about passive vs active learning. I believe much more in active learning vs. passive but it probably isn't possible to have every single class to be only active learning. THere has to be passive learning to try to show what is important and the info that needs to be covered that may be on the NCLEX. However i think that the active listening is much more beneficial to the new nurses that can assess what they know and their critical thinking skills. I would rather have an B/C student working with me that knows how to think critically vs an A student who has every definition memorized with no critical thinking skills.


17 Posts

Specializes in OB/GYN, Oncology, Hospice.

My nursing classes were always "taught" in the active learning style. You have to effectively reach students with different types of learning styles (auditory, tactile, visual) and the active approach gives everyone a chance to not just understand the concepts but remember them.

Has 7 years experience.

Many of us are visual learners and active learning in school will be a great boost to understanding material. Active learning is first day teaching us nursing concepts (ADPIE, ABC) and continuously point these concepts out while we discuss in lecture will help a lot because of repetition. My nursing program had a method to select students for the program. We had an entrance exam, pre-lvn class, interview, then acceptance letter. The problem was we learned ADPIE in the pre-lvn class not in clinical application problem solving but in facts. again the teacher did not emphasize that this concept will be with you in the nursing program. I thought it was a memorize then dump out of brain. You get to nursing school with books that teachers again may not explain how to read it properly and what we need to look for in the first stages. I understand not to be spoon fed, however, we are in training wheels learning how to ride a bike. Another analogy crawl before you walk? Nursing schools lectures present too much material and maybe if content was in an organized structure to find patterns of big concepts and break it down step by step not just for nclex prep but for the real world as well. If nursing programs can start using technology for prior lecture preparation for students to focus on before class discussion to save time and to focus more on clinical application and role playing during class time. the more interactive the better :)

Have more field trips like we learn about a disease see if there is a community service that is discussing the disease we are learning. it may be a lot to do but the more we see material in different ways the better for prep in the real world. Nclex is test taking strategies that should be presented first day with ADPIE and ABC