A Quick Guide on Active Learning and Passive Learning

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Active Learning Vs Passive Learning – Which One Is Better

Not all students follow the same learning style. They have different abilities and that’s the reason they need to adopt a different learning technique. Teachers should analyze the behavior of their students and identify which teaching method can best work for them. 

Education specialists of Essay 48 categorize learning styles into two major categories: active and passive. Opting for the right technique is indispensable to ensure a bright study career. In this article, you will discover useful information about active learning and passive learning. See how both of these are different from each other and which one can work well for your study career.

Active Learning

Active learning is a method that actively engages students with the specified course materials through case studies, discussions, and problem-solving sessions. It’s a student-centered learning system that entirely focuses on stimulating students to learn better.

In the active learning process, a student feels more authorized. The conceptual understanding of students is stimulated through this particular technique. Some of the common examples of active learning are peer instruction, challenges, games, hands-on labs, and solving group problems. 

Active learning promotes divergent thinking. This helps students in paying less attention to specific concepts and more attention to the bigger picture. Such thinking habits help students in building great connections with the outside world. 

This sort of learning process helps students in developing great skills such as collaboration, evaluation, analytical, and public speaking. 

Advantages of Active Learning

Actively learning style has a lot of benefits for students of different education levels. Here we are going to talk about some of the most prominent ones.

Fosters Risk Taking

Active learning fosters risk-taking which eventually leads to success. Most students like to sit back, relax, and listen to lectures delivered by professors. Active learning pushes them to think out of the box and come out of their comfort zone. This particular learning method encourages risk-taking. As a result, students feel empowered and in a better position to overcome their shortcomings.

Encourages Collaboration Skills

Collaboration is a critical skill that students should possess to become successful in both academic and professional landscapes. Active learning encourages collaboration and helps students improve their cooperation with each other. This sort of skill is great for group study. 

Boosts Engagement

Those who are always willing to learn actively get engaged in productive activities. They never think of sitting at home. They always want to do something worthwhile in their lives.

Active learners solve problems, participate in debates, research on different topics, and create a good understanding of different topics. 

Helps in Memorization

According to research, students remember things that they actively perform. Active learners are likely to have better control over memorizing different things related to their studies. Teachers apply active learning to students who are reluctant to understand and memorize different study concepts.

Develops Critical Thinking

Many students lack critical thinking abilities. They cannot identify mistakes or misinformation. A student should be smart enough to detect the legitimacy of the information. This is not possible without developing critical thinking skills. The active learning process plays a key role in fostering critical thinking among students of different academic levels.

Encourages Creativity

Creativity is the key element that measures a student’s success. Those who learn actively are in a better position to become more creative than others. Studies have shown that the active learning technique has helped thousands of students in becoming creative. This ability helps them not just during the educational journey but also throughout their professional careers.

Disadvantages of Active Learning

Although active learning has a lot of benefits for students of all levels, yet there are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of. 

  • The active learning technique requires flexible lesson plans
  • Students need to be monitored to make sure they do not get distracted during learning activities
  • Only a limited amount of material can be offered at once
  • Active learning is a very time-consuming technique
  • It provides students with more freedom which they can misuse sometimes

These are some of the limitations of the active learning system.

Passive Learning

In simple words, passive learning is the sole effort of the learner. There are many examples of passive learning. Some of the most prominent ones include online lectures, textbooks, presentations, and seminars. In all these examples, you will observe one-way communication from the learner. 

Unlike active learning, passive learning is a teacher-centered learning technique. Students act upon the advice of teachers to bring the desired outcome.

Advantages of Passive Learning

Passive learning has its benefits that are a bit dissimilar to active learning. 

  • Students get a chance to explore new raw material
  • They develop skills to clear up the course materials
  • The mentor has more control over the classroom and students
  • A big amount of information can be presented in a short period
  • Didactic materials can be prepared in advance
  • This learning format is ideal for large-classroom settings
  • Significant concepts can be presented in a well-organized manner

Passive learning indeed has a lot of benefits. However, there are a few disadvantages that are worth mentioning here. 

Disadvantages of Passive Learning

Some of the noteworthy drawbacks of passive learning techniques include:

  • Teachers have restricted opportunities to identify student’s ability to learn
  • Students might be reluctant to ask questions regarding confusing concepts
  • This learning system doesn’t foster high-level cognitive skills
  • The instructor is bound to have the perfect presentation and speaking ability
  • Students may have to wait to receive the information and instructions from the teacher
  • Limited opportunities to get an explanation on different subjects


Every student has a different mindset. A teacher should analyze the abilities of every student to figure out what learning style matches their aptitude. Some students are meant to follow active learning while others can perform well following the passive learning style. 

According to academic experts, an active learning style is more effective to empower students and help them learn new concepts energetically.

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