Active vs Passive Learning: Getting Involved at School
One of the biggest complaints of college students is that they do not feel like the value of their education matches the expense of obtaining a degree. The ugly truth is that college is expensive, and not only does it require a financial obligation, it also requires lots of time and effort. In addition, there is no guarantee of employment after completing college. I am a firm believer that your college experience is based on your attitude toward learning and growing.
There are two types of learning; namely, active and passive. Active learning is a technique you can use to get the most out of all of your classes, lectures, and readings. While passive learning is not necessarily bad, it does not provide the type of depth and analysis active learning can. If you are serious about getting the most out of college (remember, you will only get out what you put in), follow some of these tips below to help the value of your education come closer to matching the expense of earning your degree.
- Take notes. Note taking is essential to active learning. When you take notes, you are “actively” writing out either what a professor is lecturing or what you are reading out of your textbook or resources. You have probably heard that writing something down makes you remember it better, and that is actually true.
- Always remain engaged in discussion. Whether you are sitting in a classroom or on an online forum, you will enhance your college experience by actively participating in discussions. College courses offer such a diverse set of opinions and thoughts, and it is very important that you share your own while actively listening to your classmates’ thoughts.
- Take advantage of extra resources. Almost any class you come across is going to have some type of external resource to enhance the subject you are studying. Make sure you take advantage of extra readings, blogs, computer programs, cultural opportunities, or anything else that may be of service.
- Remain positive. This is probably the hardest to do, especially if you have three or four finals during the same week, or a large amount of homework. Also keep in mind that your hard work will pay off if you persevere. Really, remaining positive is a healthy practice in any part of your life, but doing so while attending school will help you keep your sights on the end goal (which, of course, is your degree!)
You can graduate college by doing the bare minimum. There is no rule that says you have to take advantage of all the great things college classes have to offer. But if you want to get the most out of your education, try some of the above tips and watch your college experience become enhanced.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS