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Active Learning Institute

Flipped Classrooms and Beyond

How can we create courses that improve student engagement and motivation? Our hands-on Active Learning Institute helps faculty transform their undergraduate and graduate-level courses into an environment for participatory learning.

Attend the Institute

The 2017 Institute will be held on Tuesday, June 6 – Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Applications are due Friday, May 12, 2017.

Apply here

Learn about the program below

“The ratio of facilitators to participants was amazing! I established a great relationship with our facilitator and group, and was able to get specific answers to my problems. Also, I appreciate that they really got to know our course concerns.”

“The hands-on application of ‘principles’ that are fundamental to good course design helped translate theory into practice.”




“I think we become too focused on our way of doing things and it is nice to have a refresher ‘course’ to take a second look.”




When and Where

The Active Learning Institute typically takes place in June. This year, the Institute will be held on Tuesday, June 6 – Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm in Butler Library Room 212. Thursday’s session will be followed by a reception.


Open to all Columbia faculty interested in increasing active learning and preparing to flip their courses. 

Program Description

The Active Learning Institute provides in-depth training for faculty interested in increasing active learning and preparing to flip their courses. During the Institute, participants explore the purposes and outcomes of active learning and apply research-based practices to the process of developing active, student-centered course units.


Through a combination of hands-on activities, presentation, and discussion, participants will work through the essential components of designing engaging student experiences through active learning techniques. Topics covered will include facilitating individual and collaborative learning activities, planning and creating effective online materials, and fostering and maintaining an inclusive course climate. Throughout the Institute, participants will focus on aligning assessments and activities to student learning objectives.


Highlights of the Institute include:


  • A supportive interdisciplinary environment with a high facilitator to participant ratio.
  • Opportunities to experience and reflect on active learning techniques and best practices.
  • Personalized consideration of instructor’s pedagogy, disciplinary context, and course logistics.
  • Experimentation with educational technology tools to help facilitate active learning inside and outside the classroom.


Following the Institute, participants continue to receive guidance and consultations from CTL staff.


Please contact Jessica Brodsky ( for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can graduate students attend?

The Institute is open to Columbia faculty. However, faculty members are encouraged to invite the designated graduate teaching assistant(s) for the course they will be developing to attend the Institute with them.

Related CTL Programs, Services, and Resources

Browse the CTL’s institute offerings, especially the Course Redesign Institute.

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