Active Learning vs Passive Learning

It is generally acknowledged that everyone learns things in their own unique way, however that doesn’t mean that there aren’t general principles that apply to virtually everyone. Hence the learning triangle.

What do I mean by the ‘learning triangle’? Well, firstly the learning triangle relates to information recall. Essentially, it illustrates how much of what a person has learnt they are able to recall, depending on the method used to teach them.

Learning Triangle

Breaking this down into its individual section we see that generally learners remember:

  • 10% of what they read – Passive
  • 20% of what they hear – Passive
  • 30% of a demonstration – Passive
  • 50% if involved in a group discussion – Active
  • 70% if the learner practices by doing – Active
  • 90% if the learner teaches someone else – Active

 

These teaching methods can be split into ‘passive’ methods and ‘active’ methods. The key difference between the two is that passive methods simply require sensory input (i.e. listening, reading etc.), whereas active methods require a degree of interaction with learners, hence the increase in retention.

Active learning appears to be the most beneficial on the learner’s end, so why isn’t everyone doing it?

Active learning is a lot more difficult to do. This would most likely be the main reason, as this style of training requires a lot more of the teacher, who has to make the learning experience engaging rather than simple presenting information as you might find in a video or lecture.

The other reason may be that the learner isn’t desired to perform task beyond simple explanations of a topic (see the learning outcomes below).

Titan Learning believes active learning produces better long-term results, and that VAT training should be as engaging as possible, which is why our courses are full of interactive exercises, quizzes and games. If you are interested in seeing how Titan Learning courses could help you team improve their VAT knowledge then click here.

  • Ashley V. Gillespie

    I think both types of learning should be implemented in school and it must be done effectively in order for their students to be able to learn all of the most important things that they should be learning in a school.

  • Jared A. Huffman

    I think that these both types of learning should be implemented in school and it must be done effectively in order for their students to be able to learn all of the most important things that they should be going to learn in school.