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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.

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When and Where

The Active Learning Institute typically takes place in June. 


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.

“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)