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EIU Faculty Development and Innovation Center


Active Learning in Action


Active Learning in Action is an occasional video series showcasing innovative ways EIU faculty members are incorporating the use of the teaching strategy active learning in their courses. Active learning engages the learner in critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter while considering varying learner strengths and preferences. Each video in this series features an EIU faculty member describing an active learning activity they effectively use to engage their learners in the learning process. Seasoned and growing faculty members can find fresh strategies their colleagues are using to transform the learning experience, one active learning activity at a time. Please feel welcome to contact us by email with any active learning course activities that could be shared in this video series.

Visually Mapping the Research Process in Historical Research (updated April 2024)

Dr. Trevor Burrows and Librarian Amy Odwarka describe their collaboration to incorporate visualization strategies into an undergraduate historical research class, providing students with opportunities to analyze their own research process through time-released mapping and visualization of research practices. The activity of drawing and visualizing the research process over the course of a semester not only allowed for self-evaluation but gave learners the opportunity to identify their own strengths, learn from their peers, locate areas where they needed support and make a plan to reach out for assistance with the right person. It also provided an artifact that students consulted to measure progress over the course of the semester.

Roleplaying for Engagement and Assessment in Advanced Foreign Language (updated March 2024)

Dr. Jessica Tindira explains how students in beginning and intermediate language classes come alive when they are invited to assume a role and improvise a dialogue.  By inhabiting the role of literary or historical figures, students demonstrate their knowledge of the course content and achieve objectives in a fun way, engaging with classmates in the planning and performance of their roleplay. Roleplay can be used as a low-stakes assessment to evaluate students’ interpersonal speaking skills, which may empower students who feel nervous about written assessments. Instead of completing an essay or an exam, students can demonstrate their mastery through a conversation. To illustrate the benefits of roleplay in advanced courses, Dr. Tindira shares information about a successful roleplay activity named Et si vous étiez Louis XIV? This video debuted at Pedagogy Day 2024, March 14, 2024.


Cultivating Ethical Growth in Business Students (updated March 2024)

Mr. Evan Kubicek describes an extra credit activity designed to instill and self-assess core values outlined by the EIU Lumpkin College of Business. Weekly values reflection exercises encourage learners to rate themselves on each of the values. Learn from Mr. Kubicek and the learners themselves how this activity fosters personal growth and ethical awareness. This video debuted at Pedagogy Day 2024, March 14, 2024.

Initiating the Learner's Mindset for Economics (updated December 2023)

Dr. Jim Bruehler describes an engaging activity designed for learners new to economics that aims to broaden their perspectives and introduce the economic way of thinking. By dividing the class into two groups and presenting conflicting aphorisms, Dr. Bruehler encourages students to question conventional wisdom and discover the importance of thinking at the margin. The activity proves to be a successful introduction, fostering openness and eagerness among students, making economics an unexpectedly enjoyable and applicable subject. 

Virtual Reality for French Language Development (updated April 2023)

Dr. Jessica Tindira explains a virtual reality (VR) activity, "My Hometown" designed for beginning French learners. The immersive experience focuses on practical language skills, with learners using VR headsets to navigate a virtual hometown, give directions in French, and write descriptions. The activity, evolving from a paper map to VR, fosters community building, language development, and positive student engagement. 

Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Michael Gillespie, Director, FDIC


Kim Ervin
Instructional Designer


Faculty Development and Innovation Center

1105 Booth

David Smith
Instructional Support and Training Specialist


Keerthana Saraswathula
Instructional Support and Training Specialist


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