Active Learning Institute

Looking for ways to increase student engagement in your face-to-face or online classroom environments? Our hands-on Active Learning Institute helps Columbia faculty transform their undergraduate and graduate-level courses into environments for participatory learning. This year’s Institute takes place Tuesday, June 16 – Thursday, June 18, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM in Butler Library 212.


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.


What happens at the Active Learning Institute?

In this three-day institute, 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 course units.

To model how pre-class work can help us make the best use of in-class time together, faculty will be asked to complete a two-hour pre-institute online module on articulating student learning objectives.

During the institute, faculty will participate in a combination of hands-on activities, an instructional technologies lab, discussions, and online exercises to work through the essential components of designing engaging student learning experiences. Topics addressed include facilitating individual and collaborative learning activities, planning and creating effective online materials, and fostering and maintaining an inclusive course climate.

Faculty will also experiment with educational tools and software during the hands-on instructional technologies lab.

Throughout the institute, faculty will focus on aligning assessments and activities to student learning objectives for a unit in their course.

After attending this institute, Columbia faculty should be able 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


The Institute is facilitated by Andrew Flatgard, Jason Guzman, Nigel Frazier, and John Foo from the CTL.


Who should I contact for more information?

Should you have any questions about this program, contact John Foo at

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Join Us!

The Active Learning Institute application opens on Monday, March 02, 2020. Columbia faculty are invited to apply via the link below by Monday, May 11, 2020.

“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

Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy)

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.