Difference between Active and Passive Learning

Difference between Active and Passive Learning

Active learning is when interactive methods are used to help students learn more effectively by enabling them to participate in the learning process. Passive learning is when students are required to be responsible for understanding everything that is presented to them.

While passive learning requires you to wait for the instructor to give you direction, instructions, or information. Active learning requires that you look for different ways to increase your involvement in the learning process.

This means that in passive learning, you are given information and you must follow instructions, both written and verbal. On the other hand, in active learning, you participate in the whole learning process.

In this paper, we are going to show you all the points that differentiate active learning from passive learning.

What is learning?

Learning is an ongoing process in which important changes in learner behavior are brought about by experience, either directly or indirectly. However, learning does not always mean improvement or individual development in the right direction. It is marked with:

  • Universal process.
  • Changes in behavior due to learning are relatively permanent.
  • Purposive and goal-directed.
  • Includes experience reset.
  • Product activity and state.
  • Can be transferred from one situation to another.
  • Bring about the desired behavior change.

Definition of Active Learning

Difference Between Active and Passive Learning-2

Active learning can be defined as a learning approach where students involve themselves in the learning process by developing knowledge and understanding. It demands full participation on the part of the learner and is not based on classroom teaching, but is based on interactive learning sessions.

Active learning means involving the direct involvement of students in the learning process, through various individual and group activities.

It has been proven that – ” Learning is more durable and lasting when students are cognitively involved in the learning process “.

This means that when strenuous mental effort is put in by the learner, it results in long-term retention and understanding. The basis of active learning is constructivism learning theory which emphasizes the fact that students construct, that is, develop their understanding.

In active learning, students are not easily bored, because a longer attention span makes the mind fully absorbed. Therefore, all strategies that encourage activities that involve students doing things on their own and thinking about what they are doing come under active learning.

So active learning is more than just listening to lectures, that is, students must read, write, act, discuss and participate in solving problems.

Active Learning Method

Active Learning involves learning by:

  • Question and answer
  • Sightseeing
  • Brainstorming
  • Debate
  • Naked story
  • Dramatization
  • Task
  • Learn to be independent
  • Problem solving

Definition of Passive Learning

Difference Between Active and Passive Learning-1

Passive learning means a traditional form of learning where teachers are seen as experts and they are expected to transfer knowledge to students. Therefore, students have a relaxed attitude, as they learn from what their instructors teach them. In addition, students do not get feedback from the instructor.

Passive Learning assumes that – ” A student’s mind is like an empty cup to be filled with knowledge “.

Students are perceived as passive recipients of the instructor’s knowledge, which means students memorize and imitate the knowledge transferred by the teacher. That is why, there is no effort taken by students to gain knowledge, but knowledge or ideas given to students by the teacher.

In passive learning, students are often easily bored or tired easily due to the lack of brain involvement during the learning session, thus limiting students’ thinking abilities.

Passive Learning Method

Passive Learning involves learning through:

  • Studying
  • Tutorials
  • Seminar
  • Programmed Instructions
  • powerpoint presentation
  • Illustration
  • Textbooks

Difference Between Active and Passive Learning

The difference between active learning and passive learning is discussed below:

  1. Active Learning involves students in the learning process directly and actively. On the other hand, Passive learning is a form of learning in which students are given all the information by the teacher or instructor and they are supposed to integrate it.

  2. In terms of student involvement, active learning tends to use such a method where students learn concepts by doing and therefore students need to actively participate in the process. On the other hand, in the case of passive learning, traditional learning methods are used in which the involvement of learners is relatively less.

  3. While passive learning is teacher-oriented, active learning is student-oriented, where the focus shifts from teacher to student, and from providing information by the teacher to the active participation of students.

  4. Active learning is used to improve learning in students, which allows students to learn or educate themselves by constructing their own meaning when doing activities. In contrast, passive learning is used when new material is presented to students.

  5. Of course, when students will learn concepts by actually doing activities, they will understand them better, so that knowledge retention rates are high in active learning. In contrast, the knowledge retention rate is very low in the case of passive learning, because students depend on their teachers to provide information.

  6. Active Learning helps in developing Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) which can include analysis, synthesis, evaluation, public speaking and collaboration. In contrast, passive learning often develops Lower Order Thinking Skills (LOTS) in students, which may include defining, describing, and writing skills.

  7. In the case of active learning, the learning responsibility is taken by the Student. In contrast, in passive learning, the teacher is in charge of student learning.

  8. In active learning, the teacher acts as a facilitator who creates a conducive environment for students to gain knowledge. However, in passive learning, the teacher is considered the main source of knowledge, thus acting as an instructor.

  9. Active learning encourages divergent thinking in students who generate creative or unique ideas. On the other hand, passive learning encourages convergent thinking, that is, students will be able to give correct answers to basic questions.

  10. In active learning, the main source of knowledge is direct observation, practical application, experimentation, etc., while in passive learning the main source of knowledge is the teacher/instructor, books or online resources.

Also read: Differences in Debate and Group Discussion

Generally, in passive learning, various pieces of information are considered as individual units, whereas in active learning you are looking for links to draw connections between the different units to understand the full picture.