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Live-streaming + Active Learning

Illustration depicting active learning using iClicker

Active Learning Heading link

Active learning engages students in the learning process. Active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and think about what they are doing, which can help students learn to think for themselves, make connections, raise questions, reflect on their learning, solve problems, or make decisions. Active learning can provide structured opportunities for students to apply what they are learning and promote instructor-to-student feedback, which is beneficial to all students.

In a blended synchronous environment, you can go beyond just using chat, to incorporate different opportunities for students to engage with what they are learning and with you. You might decide to use polls, worksheets, games, whiteboards, Google Workspace, or other technology to help promote student engagement with the material they are learning. You can also use active learning as a formative assessment tool to provide opportunities for both you and your students to get feedback on their learning and understanding

When incorporating active learning into your class sessions, you can start small by pausing periodically for breaks in your lecture to ask a question or give a poll. Regardless of what active learning strategies you decide to incorporate into your class sessions, it is important to frame authentic questions that ask students to use or apply what they are learning and ensure students have time and space to think and respond.

Course/Lesson Design Considerations: Heading link

As you are thinking about how to incorporate active learning into a blended synchronous environment, where there are additional challenges in having both online and in-person students interact and work together, consider:

  • What should my students know or be able to do by the end of our class session?
  • What particular learning activity or task will allow my students to apply their knowledge or practice this skill?
  • What will active learning look like in my classroom?
  • What types of activities do I want to use in my course?
  • How are you engaging both online and in-person students?
  • Is it important that you know who is responding? Or can students respond anonymously?
Close up of an iClicker quiz question.


  • Do you need to ask in-class students to bring their electronic devices and headphones/earphones?

Examples of Activities Heading link

Interested in speaking with someone about pedagogy or how to use a tool? Request a teaching consultation with CATE staff.