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Active Learning Institute (Online)

Looking for ways to increase student engagement in your face-to-face or online classroom? Our hands-on Active Learning Institute helps Columbia faculty transform their undergraduate and graduate-level courses into environments for participatory learning. This year’s four-day Institute takes place online from Tuesday, June 21 – Friday, June 24, 2022.​


Who is the Active Learning Institute open to?

The Active Learning Institute is open to all Columbia faculty interested in increasing active learning in their courses.

Faculty must be able to attend all four days of the Institute and complete a two-hour pre-institute online module to qualify.


What happens at the Active Learning Institute?

In this four-day immersive online experience, Columbia faculty will explore the purposes and benefits of active learning and learn how to apply these research-based practices by developing their own active and learner-centered (face-to-face or online) course units.

Faculty will engage in a series of hands-on activities and discussions over Zoom and CourseWorks (Canvas) in order to:

  • Implement active learning strategies that help students meet course learning objectives
  • Design inclusive experiences for students to encounter and engage with ideas and reflect on their learning
  • Sequence in-class and out-of-class activities and assessments to guide and focus student efforts
  • Leverage technology purposefully in service of course learning objectives

Each day of the online institute comprises:

  • A two-hour (1–3 PM) synchronous Zoom session for group activities
  • Up to three hours of self-paced online lessons, course planning, and peer review
  • Virtual office hours (optional)

Faculty will also learn how to leverage multimedia elements and CourseWorks (Canvas) tools to create asynchronous active learning modules.

By the end of this online institute, faculty will leave with a detailed map of their redesigned course unit, one carefully-planned active learning experience, and a video-based asynchronous activity ready to be used in their next course. Faculty will also join a supportive network of Active Learning Institute alumni.

The Institute is facilitated by John Foo, Jamie Kim, and Sam Sadeh from the CTL.


Who should I contact for more information?

Should you have any questions about this program, contact John Foo at CTLfaculty@columbia.edu.

Active Learning Institute Logo

Join Us!

The Active Learning Institute application is now open. Columbia faculty are invited to apply via the link below.  Applications received by Monday, May 16, 2022, will be given priority.

“I found it really helpful to look back at how I draft my course learning objectives, and how I can better align them with my pedagogies and assessment practices. I highly recommend educators to push the pause button and participate in future runs of the Active Learning Institute. It will help you become a better educator.”

Lenin Grajo

Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy)

“The Active Learning Institute changed the way I approached teaching because it taught me how to correctly gauge and incorporate student feedback. Before ALI, I would rely on participation to get formative feedback. In ALI, I learned that this kind of feedback was often biased towards students who understood the material or those who were comfortable engaging in classroom discussion. After ALI, I had the tools to adjust pedagogy as the course progressed. These tools increased the overall engagement, learning and success of my courses.“

Christopher Munsell

Glascock Associate Professor of Professional Practice of Real Estate Development Finance (Architecture, Planning and Preservation)

The CTL is here for faculty.

The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of support for faculty in both their work and their professional development.