Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research


  • Michael Prince

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering Bucknell University
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    • Dr. Michael Prince is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Bucknell University, where he has been since receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. He is the author of several education-related papers for engineering faculty and gives faculty development workshops on active learning. He is currently participating in Project Catalyst, an NSF-funded initiative to help faculty re-envision their role in the learning process.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837; telephone: 570–577-1781; e-mail:


This study examines the evidence for the effectiveness of active learning. It defines the common forms of active learning most relevant for engineering faculty and critically examines the core element of each method. It is found that there is broad but uneven support for the core elements of active, collaborative, cooperative and problem-based learning.